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Author Topic: Revised Guidelines For User Conduct  (Read 5937 times)

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Revised Guidelines For User Conduct
« on: March 20, 2009, 09:04:04 AM »
Since the boards creation, we have been reluctant to post guidelines defining what is reasonable user conduct. Our reputation as the "friendly" forum has up to now made it quite unnecessary. If you are familiar with the "Russian Women Forum" scene over the years, our Russian Ukrainian Adventures forums has tended to attract the cream of the cream members from the other well-known forums of yore, many of which are abandoned or disbanded now. We are proud of the light-handed moderation here. Our forum moderation is so well-regarded that lesser forums are seeking to emulate our moderation model.

However, we are now a victim of our own success. As the busiest Russian women information forum on the net, it is inevitable that people will have the occasional misunderstanding. It is time to publish a guideline as to what is reasonable here, and what is not.

The success of our forums depends upon the quality posts of our participants. We are proud of the success of our forums and give our thanks to those who have helped make the forums what they are today. To ensure our continued success, we are posting these guidelines (which have also been incorporated into the Terms of Service) so that all participants of the RUA forums understand what is considered unacceptable behavior in these forums, and what can result in warnings culminating in a temporary suspension or a permanent ban.

Personal attacks are prohibited: This specifically means any text/post that is blatantly attacking another member or their partner. It is easy enough to use civil language in order to respectfully debate differing points of view. If you are not sure what you are about to say is civil, rephrase it or don't post it. Keep your comments limited to the debate at hand and do not make it a personal issue between you and another member. Please conduct yourself with restraint and treat others who use this forum with respect.

Be considerate: There is tremendous diversity in age, race, gender, native language and location on this forum and there will be a lot of varying opinions on different subjects. We're all drawn to this site because we have a common interest. Remember, the English language differs across the world; the FSU, the US, Canada, Australia and the UK can have differences. If you are unsure of what another poster means by what they have written, ask them for clarification or more information. Understand that what you write, and what people subsequently understand, can differ.

Find the forum which best fits your topic: By placing your topic in the most appropriate forum you are showing your respect for the community and you will receive helpful responses. Please remember that our room entitled "Ask a Russian Lady - Спроси у русской леди" is designed for our male members to seek opinions from our female members. Men are requested to generally refrain from replying to topics in that room because it may dissuade women from replying.

Stay on topic: These can be very busy forums, so please pay attention to the subject matter of your posts, and check that it still relates to the topic and forum to which you are posting.

Identify your subject matter: Not everyone has time to read every forum post. To ensure that your message reaches the right people quickly, identify your subject matter clearly in the subject line. Subjects like "question" and "major problem" will not get you the response you seek.

Report inappropriate posts: We are proud of being a fun, friendly, and supportive forum. Tell the moderators using the "report post" links provided if you see any content that breaks our guidelines. Do not feed trolls.

Welcome newcomers: Do not chastise them for not reading the forum etiquette or asking what you consider to be stupid questions. Make them feel welcome in our community. When newcomers arrive, welcome them to our growing community. Many of our community's senior members are a wealth of knowledge and have much to share. Help new members learn about how to find information and resources, save time, and how to get involved in our community.

Treat this forum and its members with respect and that respect will be returned to you.

We want you to be able to relax here, ask questions, give advice, tell stories and above all, enjoy the site!


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Do Not Feed The Trolls
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2009, 10:03:34 AM »
Do Not Feed The Trolls

An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Trolls delight in sowing discord on the forums. A troll is someone who inspires flaming rhetoric, someone who is purposely provoking and pulling people into flaming discussion. Flaming discussions usually end with name calling and a flame war.

A classic troll tries to make us believe that he is a skeptic. He is divisive and argumentative with need-to-be-right attitude, "searching for the truth", flaming discussion, and sometimes insulting people or provoking people to insult him. A troll is usually an expert in reusing the same words of its opponents and in turning it against them.

While he tries to present himself as a skeptic looking for truth ... his messages usually sound as if it is the responsibility of other forum members to provide evidence that what forum is all about is legitimate.

He tries to start arguments and upset people.

Sometimes, he is skeptical, trying to scare people, trying to plant fear in their hearts. Sometimes, Internet troll is trying to spin conflicting information, is questioning in an insincere manner, flaming discussion, insulting people, turning people against each other, harassing forum members, ignoring warnings from forum moderators.

Trolling is a form of harassment that can take over a discussion. Well meaning defenders can create chaos by responding to trolls. The best response is to ignore it, or to report a message to a forum moderator. The moderators usually remove troll messages and may even ban trolls after a few unheeded warnings. Negative emotions stirred up by trolls leak over into other discussions. Normally affable people can become bitter after reading an angry interchange between a troll and his victims, and this can poison previously friendly interactions between long-time users.

Finally, trolls create a paranoid environment, such that a casual criticism by a new arrival can elicit a ferocious and inappropriate backlash.

When trolls are completely ignored they sometimes step up their attacks, desperately seeking the attention they crave. Their messages become more and more foul, and they post ever more of them. Alternatively, they may protest that their right to free speech is being curtailed. Perhaps the most difficult challenge for a moderator is deciding whether to take steps against a troll that a few people find entertaining.

Some trolls do have a creative spark and have chosen to squander it on being disruptive. There is a certain perverse pleasure in watching some of them. Ultimately, though, we have to decide if the troll actually cares about putting on a good show for the regular participants, or is simply playing to an audience of one -- himself. For this reason the staff here often intervene, either with a warning in a thread, trashing one or more posts, sending private messages to offenders, and even banning people -- temporarily or permanently -- from the forums.

The goal of the forums is to provide a place where people wanting to share experiences can do so as well as give and receive assistance in a friendly, pleasant environment. Trolls disturb and disrupt the community and are neither welcomed nor tolerated. There are lots of "free speech" forums available for political, religious, "not safe for work" and family-unfriendly sorts of interactions. If you feel the need to troll, please seek out one of these places.

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Dealing With Problems: Posts and Moderation.
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 03:28:31 PM »
As stated above, these can be busy forums. It is never possible to please all of the people all of the time. From time to time, some members will be unhappy about other peoples posts, or certain aspects of moderation on the forum.

We publish our Forum Terms of Use/Terms of Service so that we have a "rule book" to work with in the event of problems or disputes. The Revised Guidelines for User Conduct above seeks to simplify and clarify them; translate them into common sense terminology.

This post is to clarify what you should do if you encounter a problem on the forums.

How to deal with problem posts.

If you see a problem on the forums, be that a spammer, bad language or other behaviour you feels violates our rules in some way, always in the first instance use the "Report to Moderator" button that is situated in every post. Do not attempt to publicly deal with the matter yourself; that only results in flame wars. 

When you report a post, be specific. Saying "look he's at it again" doesn't help us. Then we have to guess what you might have meant. We are not mind readers. Report it with specifics and it makes it easier. Posts reported without specifics are liable to be ignored. If you cant be bothered to report a post with specifics, then don't complain that we are not keeping the forum clean and tidy. You, as a member and a poster, are responsible as much as we are to police the community we have here. Reporting posts is your role in that. 

All correctly reported posts are looked at. On some, action is taken -- on some not. (The moderators may not think the incident is actionable; in that case nothing will happen.) Sometimes a post may be edited, sometimes the author is sent a PM with advice, sometimes a warning gets issued. We generally don't publicise warnings and the like. We don't find that constructive to the community. Just because you don't actually see something happen after you report a post, don't assume nothing happened.

People don't always get along. If you have an argument with another poster, consider taking it to private message and deal with it there between yourselves. The moderators are liable to delete unrelated arguments from topics in order to keep the topic useful to our many readers. Nobody wants to read about the personal conflicts of others in the middle of a regular topic. Arguing and/or insulting others on topics will be considered trolling and dealt with according to the forum rules.

If you frequently have a problem with another poster, use the "ignore" button. That's what it is there for.

How to deal with moderation issues.

Forum moderation is not an exact science. The moderators are human. On routine matters the moderators make a judgment, using their experience, based upon what they see. On more complex issues, several moderators may confer in order that the right action is taken.

That said, occasionally someone feels unhappy that their post was deleted, edited or moved. If you think you made a post that is now missing (and it was a valid on topic post), do this first: Go to "profile", then to "show posts" and see if you see it in that list. If you do, it was probably moved for some reason. Click the link and it will take you to its current location.

Please do not start topics or polls along the lines of "Where are my missing posts?" or "I think X moderator sucks because....". Such actions will be considered as trolling and dealt with according to the forum rules.

If you have a problem with the actions of a moderator, first establish which one it is. Edited posts will often show a name of who edited it. Send him a private message and ask about it. If you don't know exactly which moderator to contact, check the forum index and see which moderator/s have primary responsibility for the room concerned. Send that moderator a private message. If it wasn't him, he will look into it and get back to you.

Account and post deletions.

Occasionally, when a member is upset, they ask for their account to be deleted and their posts removed. We do not delete accounts and/or all posts of any member, as such action is irreversible (and people usually change their mind shortly after anyway). To delete "all" posts of any member would result in holes in topics, quotes of posts that no longer exist and topics in the archives that no longer make any sense. For further information, refer to Section Four of our Terms of Service.