Forum Rules: please read before posting.

Discussion in 'Information and Announcements' started by editor, Jun 4, 2013.

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  1. editor

    editor Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    Forum Guidelines

    This is a friendly forum for people of all ages and from all parts of the world. The forum guidelines have been drawn up to ensure our forum remains a happy corner of the internet. Your moderators are a team of dedicated forum members who have volunteered to help maintain forum standards by ensuring that we all respect the forum guidelines which you will find below.

    Before you join in please note: posts are permanent and public

    Like all forums, with the exceptions of members only boards, what you post here is public and can be viewed by anyone who finds your post via an internet search engine. Or through a link provided elsewhere. Only you can decide how much of your personal life you want to reveal, but do take the public nature of Internet forums into account.

    As a general rule, we don’t delete users accounts or posts. Removing posts can render an entire thread meaningless and cause confusion. So please assume that what you post here is permanent. If you have special circumstances that warrant us making an exception to this rule, please contact a member of the mods team with your reasons.

    The following is a brief set of rules to help us make sure that this remains a nice place for people to stop and chat for a while.

    1.Prohibited content

    a) General. All material posted on these boards must be appropriate for a family forum: Posts, usernames, and avatars should not contain text or images likely to shock or offend. Hateful, racist, obscene, or inflammatory content, in any form including but not limited to text, photographs, video, etc, are not permitted

    b) Commercial and advertising. The forum and its private message system may not be used to promote commercial products and services, or to advertise puppies or dogs for sale, dogs at stud, or dogs available for rehoming, or rescue. However, you may put your own website in your signature line, provided it meets the link guidelines (below)

    c) Links. Please do not link out to other websites if the information being linked to is available on The Labrador Site, or sites where access to the information on that site is cloaked behind a 'sign-up' form. Inappropriate links may be removed and include but are not limited to, links to other forums, to advertisements, surveys, inaccurate or misleading claims with potential health or safety implications, or to websites containing any of the content types prohibited in section 1a

    d) Copyright protected material. Copyright law is complex and frequently flouted. But we would like to make sure that this forum is free from breaches of copyright. Please do not place images or text on this forum unless you are the creator, own the copyright, or have permission from the copyright holder. This includes cross-posting from another forum. Many, if not most, forums claim copyright ownership of anything posted on their boards! In broad terms all text, html code, and images placed online belong to the person who created them unless that right is clearly surrendered by the creator. There is no requirement for the creator to place a copyright symbol on the image/article etc. So please assume that everything is copyright protected unless you know otherwise.

    e) Promoting a cause or project. We appreciate that there are some very great causes out there. However, we would like you to PM one of the moderators before linking to, or promoting, any causes on this forum. Students, charities, business owners, and others, looking for Labrador owners to engage with, must request permission from the moderation team before posting information about their project.
    What do we mean by promoting a ‘cause’? By promoting a cause, we mean asking other members to take some action in support of you, or in support of another person, organization, charity, political party, religious group etc. This might be in the form of asking for votes, likes, donations, responses to a survey, or asking for signatures on a petition.

    Why can’t we promote good causes?
    People often have widely differing views on what is or is not a good cause, and we don’t have the facilities to investigate fully, the authenticity of or rationale behind, links posted here. It can make some members feel ‘uncomfortable’ when a fellow member posts up asking people to vote for them or sign their petition. And we do not want the Labrador forum to be used in this way. So, if you post links promoting a cause without asking and explaining first, they will probably be removed.

    Exceptions to the rule
    Whilst we don’t promise to say yes, we are happy to consider links to worthwhile and relevant causes, Labrador rescue charity appeals for example. Send a PM to one of the mods with a brief explanation of your cause and the link you want to post, and we’ll get back to you with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’

    f) Requests for confirmation of pedigree/ID Forum members may not post photographs of their dogs for the purpose of asking other members to confirm that their puppy/dog is a pedigree dog.

    g) Requests for information or advice on raising underage puppies Members may not ask for advice on caring for puppies under seven weeks of age. Check this link for more information Underage puppies

    h) Request for forum members to evaluate the health, value, or conformation of dogs from images or descriptions posted on these boards. Members may not post information about a dog for the purposes of making a purchasing decision. You can find information on the proper steps to take when purchasing a dog on the main website.

    i) Grievances Public threads are not appropriate place to post complaints or allegations, about other members, or to protest about the forum rules. If you wish to make a formal complaint about another forum member, or about the way the forum is managed, please send a private message to one of the moderators or the forum admins.

    2. Behaviour

    a) Being friendly Please be polite and friendly. Lively discussion is welcomed but members are asked to refrain from 'trolling' (see Appendix 1 below) and from unfriendly and combative remarks.

    b) Posting reviews Potentially damaging reviews of any organisation, company, person or service are not permitted.

    c) Personal attacks Personal attacks (see Appendix 2 below) on forum members are not permitted.

    d) Challenges It is easy to cross the line between challenging another person and trolling or aggravating behaviour. The following guidelines are to help you decide when a 'challenge' is appropriate

    What is a ‘challenge'? A challenge is a post where the person posting questions the veracity, authenticity, or worth, of some aspect of another forum member’s post

    When is a challenge appropriate? Challenges are most likely to be appropriate in threads focused on a topic, such as a discussion about a technique, product, service, or training/behaviour issue, where the challenge has a valid purpose and is relevant to the topic being discussed.

    When is a challenge not appropriate? Challenges are not usually appropriate in any Personal Experience Thread*, except where the thread contains information promoting or encouraging inappropriate or potentially harmful behaviour

    Challenges are not appropriate in any thread where the challenge is diverting the topic into a new area of discussion - in this case the appropriate course is to start a new thread.

    Multiple challenges Repeatedly challenging other members can become aggravating and detract from the pleasure of the forum. So make challenges thoughtfully. Multiple challenges may be removed by admin.

    Repeatedly challenging the same forum member on different threads is not appropriate, and can amount to bullying. If you don’t share the views of that member, and find them annoying the sensible option is to use the ignore button

    Pointless challenges Repeatedly challenging others without a valid reason, will be viewed as trolling and may result in a ban.

    *A Personal Experience Thread (PET) is a thread where the original poster is relating a personal experience they are undertaking, or an event or series of events, that they were involved in.

    e) Making a duplicate account Duplicate usernames/membership is not permitted

    3. Advice to others

    Advice to others should be relevant and appropriate. This is especially important when it comes to health, safety, and welfare.

    a) health advice

    This forum supports and promotes evidence-based medicine. This does not mean we cannot discuss alternative therapies, we can. But claims for their efficacy need to be supported. Ideally with links to the relevant research

    In the same way, members disputing the efficacy of mainstream veterinary treatments need to support their claims in a reasonable manner.

    Please note that in the UK, where this forum is based, it is illegal for anyone other than a veterinary surgeon to diagnose or prescribe treatment for, another person's pet.

    b) training advice

    This forum supports and promotes positive reinforcement training. Members may not advise others to use painful punishments on their dogs, nor promote the use of punishment in dog training by posting anecdotes which endorse the use of such punishment.

    We don’t want to create a situation where people cannot even mention the word ‘aversive’ or discuss the way in which aversives are generally used in dog training. But if such discussions are dominating the group or creating bad feeling, moderators may remove the entire thread.

    Thank you for reading our rules and we hope you enjoy your visit.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  2. editor

    editor Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    Forum rules – appendix 1 Trolling

    Trolling is prohibited on this forum. The following is a clarification of the term for members and moderators to refer to.

    What is a troll?

    A forum troll is someone that likes to provoke arguments. Sometimes this is with the deliberate aim of disrupting a thread or the forum in general.

    Often, the troll is not specifically aiming to cause disruption but enjoys intense debates and finds the reactions and attention he or she gets from arguing with other members, reinforcing.

    Argument v debate

    Those new to forums may be unaware that what they are doing is ‘trolling’ and is considered inappropriate. They will probably see themselves as debating rather than arguing.

    A debate is an exchange of facts and views between those holding opposing viewpoints. It is usually clear to observers what those views are. Debates usually involve evidence as well as opinions. Debates may include input from many different people

    Arguments are more personal and less focused. They tend to involve only a few people, usually two. Arguing parties may hold the same basic viewpoint and the source or substance of the argument may be unclear.

    This forum welcomes debate but not arguments.

    Signs of trolling

    One sign that a poster is displaying troll-like tendencies is the poster that is becoming fixated on the minutae or details of another person’s posts, without any clear reason for doing so.

    Another sign is that the poster is aiming his or her comments exclusively at another forum member, rather than at the forum as a whole.

    Trolls intent on disrupting a forum may make frequent posts in direct contravention of the forum ethos. For example – posting how great kibble is on a raw food forum, or placing anti hunting posts on a hunting forum.

    Dealing with trolling

    Our aim is to discourage trolling, and you can help with this. Because the simplest way to discourage trolling, is not to respond to the ‘troll’.

    It is best to withdraw from debates that descend into ‘nit-picking’ or become tiresome. None of us should feel obliged to carry on a conversation that is no longer fun.

    In addition, trolling can very quickly descend into bullying or personal attacks.

    The report button

    If you suspect a forum member of trolling or feel that a debate is becoming overly intense or focused on one person, it is a good idea to draw the post to the attention of the moderation team so that we can discuss it.

    You can do this by pressing the ‘report button’ on the post that concerns you.

    We appreciate your help in keeping this forum a happy place :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2016
  3. editor

    editor Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    Forum rules - appendix 2 Personal attacks

    Our forum rules prohibit personal attacks, but many people are unclear as to what constitutes a personal attack. This following is a clarification of the term for members and moderators to refer to.

    Personal attacks - a universal problem in forums

    From time to time, heated arguments will arise in any forum. This is only natural, as we all have different views, and some topics typically arouse very strong feelings in those discussing them.

    Wherever we find strong feeling, there is the potential for personal attacks. And these are very common on many large forums.

    Although most forums aim to prohibit personal attacks, few forums are successful in moderating them effectively. This is largely because many forum members, and indeed many forum moderators, are not clear on what defines a personal attack.

    For this reason, we have place a definition of ‘personal attack’ here for all of us to refer back to in the event of any dispute.

    Defining a personal attack

    Making a comment about a person’s character or temperament instead of referring to the evidence or facts of the argument at hand, is a personal attack.

    It doesn’t have to be extremely rude, or cruel, in order to be a personal attack - some personal attacks can be quite subtle.

    The essence of the personal attack is that it attempts to switch the subject of the debate from the facts being debated, to the debators themselves.

    Referencing another member's posts, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of embarrassing, or humiliating, them is also a form of personal attack.

    Our rules

    On this forum, personal attacks are prohibited. This means that if you disagree with someone on the forum, you need to address the substance and source of your argument with them, rather than some aspect of their personality which you may find unappealing.

    Posts containing personal attacks will be removed from the forum and the person who posted the attack will normally be given a warning. A repeat occurrence will result in account deletion. Occasionally an account may be deleted without warning. This is at the discretion of the administrators.

    Keeping things friendly

    We want this to remain a nice friendly place for all to enjoy. And our moderation policies are designed with that in mind.

    Everyone who posts on forums for any length of time, will find themselves upset or angry occasionally. If this happens to you, take a pause before you answer. Re-read your post and check that it is focused on the topic being discussed and not getting personal.

    If you feel that you have been, or that another forum member has been, the victim of a personal attack, please report this to the moderation team using the report button on the relevant post.

    We appreciate your help in keeping the forum a friendly place to be :)
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