OK, folks.

As some of you have discovered, we've got this brand new toy now in this version of vbulletin, which roughly relates to (and is thusly called) Social Groups and Personal Blogs!

Several of these have already been started by members, and certain disagreements about the content which should be allowed in them have arisen. (Yeah. This one is my ugly baby. <....> )

To address that, the staff has hammered out the following Rules of the Road for Social Groups and Blogs.

Factors considered in developing these rules include the following:

These blogs are not generally available in the forums and one actually has to go looking for them in order to view the contents, therefore, some of the more stringent rules regarding behavior in the open forums will be a bit more relaxed in the Social Groups and blogs. Therefore, some normally prohibited discussions, such as religion and politics are fair game.

However! Due to the relaxed rules, more personal discipline is required by those who create and maintain these Social Groups and Blogs -- and things will not be allowed to get out of hand, and spill over into the public areas of the forum. Know now that reports of abuse will be dealt with in a swift and no-nonsense manner.

Therefore ...

The Rules!

  1. Keep it civil! Hateful has no place here. No bashing of your fellow forum members, their countries, their leaders, or their religion(s). You may disagree, and you are free make your points to the contrary, but be mindful and respectful of the opinions of others.
  2. There's frequently a fine line between passionate and nasty. If somebody (especially a staff member) tells you you've crossed that line ... You may not need to backpedal, but at least drop it right there before it gets mean. In short, if it would make your blood boil to have it said to or about you, don't say it to or about anybody else. If a discussion starts to get heated ... just leave.
  3. The opposite also applies here. Just because you don't like the particular content of the other guy's opinion(s), doesn't necessarily make it offensive. You don't have to go looking for trouble in all the wrong places. If you know a guy is an avid hunter -- and you're a dedicated vegetarian -- don't go looking through his Social Group just to see how stirred up you can get yourself ... and him.
  4. Don't hammer your points home with a jackhammer. Once or twice is usually enough. Continually harping on a subject is likely to get under people's skin and then attract all the wrong kinds of attention.
  5. Keep it clean. No porn, no nasty language and no on-line sheep dating.
  6. In order to allow this freedom, we must necessarily restrict advertising, linking or otherwise promoting your blog in the general forums. You may do so by PM if you like, but only if invited to do so. DO NOT spam other members with invitations to join your blogs and Social Groups.
  7. We (the staff) will not actively police posts in vBulletin's "Social Groups" module, but we may visit them just like anybody else, and will respond decisively to any reported posts.
  8. A word to the wise here, both parties in a grudge match, or those swapping swats, or deliberately furthering a dispute will fall victim to the same sanction.
  9. Failure to comply with these rules, or staff instructions and warnings will result in the immediate revocation of all Social Group and some other social permissions, privileges and forum functions.
  10. Social Groups and Blogs posts will be cleaned up to meet these requirements if and when a staff member requests it. Stalling and whining won't cut it. If a member fails to do so in a timely fashion, it will be done for them. If you really believe there needs to be a discussion about it, just go ahead and delete the offending posts. They can be restored by a staff member if that's the way the discussion turns out.
  11. Don't even think about dissing, mocking, defying or otherwise abusing the staff. The consequences of such behavior shall be swift and terrible!

That should about cover it. But as always, please understand that this is NOT a democracy. These rules are not open to debate. Failure to heed and comply with these rules could get your own Social Groups and Blogs deleted, and/or your permissions to have and participate in Social Groups and blogs revoked.

Fair warning here! Getting nasty with any staff member because you're upset that your behavior has gotten your Group(s) restricted, deleted or worse ... is a sure fire way to get yourself invited out the door.

On behalf of the forum staff


EDIT: After staff discussion, it has been decided to strike the above provision from the rules on a temporary basis. Be nice. We will re-institute it if needed.