By posting on the IS Forum you agree to abide by this Membership Agreement and any directions made by the Moderating Team.
The Membership Agreement is not meant be totally encompassing of all allowed and not allowed behaviour or content, it is a short as possible guide
as to what you can and cannot do here that most reasonable people will have no major problems understanding.
We want the Forum to be available to as wide an audience as possible therefore the Forum has been subdivided into "Welcome to ISF
", "General Topics
" and "Forum Members
" categories, and these categories into more specific areas of interest.
The Forum is a discussion
forum and we want it to be a friendly and lively (if challenging) forum for a mature audience and therefore will endeavour to ensure that civility will be the norm, but this does not mean that Members will be insulated from all insults and certainly not from challenges; the nature of the Forum inevitably involves strong emotions and opinions which can result in heated exchanges. Having your views challenged is not considered unfriendly nor uncivil.
The Forum is read by many people in many different locations (including work and educational locations), so consider if the content you are posting is “NSFW” (Not Suitable For Work). This could include pictures, audio and video and links to other sites containing such material; please err on the side of caution and if you are not sure if something is NSFW mark it as such and provide a clear warning to other Members of the nature of the content or check with a member of the Moderating Team
before making your post.
We have included further explanatory notes to many of the rules, click on the link for more details.
Rules for all sections of the Forum (includes private messages & visitor messages and any other kind of post)
Additional Rules for posting in the Welcome to ISF, General Topics & Forum Topics sections
0. Be civil and polite.E1
1. You will not post anything that can be considered to be potentially criminal. The posting of computer viruses, child pornography, or links to computer viruses or child pornography is strictly prohibited. As are posts made under circumstances indicating a considered likelihood of inciting a violent or felonious act, or an intention or knowledge that its content will be used for, or in furtherance of, any criminal purpose. (Such posts will be moved offline and referred to the appropriate authorities.)
2. You will not post anything that is pornographic, obscene, or contains excessive reference to violence and/or explicit sexual acts. This includes representational artwork as well as photographic or video media and includes linking directly to such content from the Forum.
3. You will not post anything that demonstrates a clear and present danger to the welfare of another person, or otherwise tends to create alarm or apprehension that the welfare of any person is in imminent jeopardy. (Such posts will be moved offline and referred to the appropriate authorities.)
4. You will not post "copyrighted" material in its entirety and do not post large amounts of material available from other sites.E2
5. You will not "hotlink" unless it is explicitly allowed by the website.E3
6. You will not spam, flood or otherwise post in a manner that disrupts the functioning of the Forum, this includes using disruptive formatting in your posts and also includes using the Forum for commercial purposes.E4
7. You may only have one Membership account. Only the person registering an account may use it.E5
8. You may only post a Member's personal information if it is both publicly available and is relevant to the ongoing discussion.
9. You will not post anything indecent. This includes content that depicts or describes sexual or excretory organs or activities in an offensive manner.
10. You will not swear in your posts. This includes using swear words in a disguised form, for example, by replacing certain letters in the word with another letter, character, or image.E6
11. You will not deliberately attempt to derail threads or start threads in the wrong section.E7
12. “Address the argument, not the arguer." Having your opinion, claim or argument challenged, doubted or dismissed is not attacking the arguer.E8
These are additional actions that the Moderating Team may take that are not intended as punitive towards any Member. They are intended to help ensure that the Forum is easy to use, navigate and to keep discussions flowing. These actions will usually be noted with a blue "Info Box" rather than a red "Mod Box".E9
H1. Off topic posts may be moved to new threads. While some thread drift is to be expected, threads can end up with multiple separate discussions running in parallel. In such cases some posts may be split to one or more new threads to make them easier to find and follow. Members can request for such derails to be split to a new thread.
H2. Threads posted in the wrong section will be moved to a more appropriate sub-forum.
H3. Title corrections and alterations. Since titles of threads in most sections are visible to non-Members titles may be changed to ensure they are appropriate for public viewing. Moderators may also correct spelling errors, typos or other mistakes however this will usually only be done on request.
H4. Duplicate posts may be deleted. Non-duplicate posts made in error may also be deleted on request.
The Moderating Team consists of volunteers and it is not intended that they should be monitoring all posts on the Forum, and such oversight would not align with the spirit of the Forum therefore the moderation of the Forum relies on the support of the Membership and we do ask Members to consider using the report button to report posts they believe breach the Membership Agreement. Please refrain from publicly stating that you have reported a post though, since that tends to achieve nothing more than further derails and bickering.
The report button may also be used to make requests for "housekeeping" such as editing titles, and in general for bringing things to the attention of the Moderating Team.
Reports are considered confidential and may be exempt from many rules, such as rules 4 and 8, if the information contained is directly relevant
to the report. However, they are still expected to be civil and should not be used to make attacks against other Members.
Warnings, Suspension & Banning
While there are several methods available for the Moderating Team to issue warnings it is the content of the warning that is important and any and all warnings should be considered to have equal weight.
When possible and
when appropriate, requests and warnings will be issued publicly, usually in the thread where the breach occurs. The Moderating Team may also use private messages and emails with requests, warnings and general advice if they feel it is more appropriate to do so.
Members who have ignored prior warnings or committed a serious breach of their Membership Agreement may have their Membership suspended
for a period of time or even be banned
. Decisions to ban
or suspend are made by the Administrators
or the ISF staff.
The Forum does not use a points system to determine actions and there is no minimum or maximum number of warnings or suspensions
required before stronger action is taken. History, context and the severity of a breach are all taken into account to determine the appropriate action.
Appeals & Complaints
Note: When suspended
you may still send private messages to the Moderating Team and start a thread in the “Appeals” section to make a formal appeal.
If you have been subject to moderation you can formally
appeal that action and the Moderating Team is obligated to respond to all such appeals. To make a formal appeal you need to create a new thread in the "Appeals" section, see http://www.internationalskeptics.com...63#post4489463
for details of how to make an Appeal thread. (It is acceptable to start a public discussion thread in the Forum Management section at the same time as starting a formal appeal or making a report.)
Discussion of moderation issues and Forum management issues, whether you agree or disagree with them, should take place in the Forum Management sections, there are additional guidelines that have to be followed when posting in the Forum Management sections, these can be found here
Frequently Asked Questions
An FAQ is available that provides additional information and clarification for some areas of the Membership Agreement and how the Forum is moderated, click here
to read it.
This Agreement may be amended and altered by the ISF at any time and by continuing to post here you accept any such alterations.
(New Membership Agreement Posted 15th August 2007)
Edited: 19th October 2007 - added section on appeals.
Edited: 27th October 2008 - clarity and layout, added FAQ section
Edited: 3rd March 2010 - major revision with changed rule numbers
Edited: 16th April 2010 - changed wording regarding Forum Management sections
Edited: 27th May 2011 - added commercial advertising into Rule 6
Edited: 4th October 2014 - changed JREF to ISF
Edited: 3rd January 2015 - changed "JREF Topics" to "Welcome to ISF"