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The Forum Rules

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Old January 22nd, 2004, 12:32 am
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The Forum Rules

forum rules

Thank you for taking time to view the rules that govern the Chamber of Secrets Forums. We do enforce these rules to the letter and of course, those that break the rules will be warned and/or banned depending on the nature of the offense.

The Rules

1. CoS Forums is a family friendly forum. Anything we deem inappropriate will be removed, this includes posts, signatures, usernames, images etc. The offending member will be warned. This also extends to websites which contain inappropriate material and the discussion of slash.
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy
Reference: Slash Fiction Policy
Reference: Signature Content Policy
Reference: Ministry of Magic Rules: 3rd Edition

2. CoS Forums Privacy Policy ensures your privacy on this site, however members who supply false information about themselves, in particular age and gender will be removed from this site instantly with the possibility that your ISP will be notified of your behaviour. Note: You are not obliged to give your age or gender upon registration and that is a right we guarantee, but the staff will not tolerate misleading information of this nature either in your profile or in threads. It is a security and welfare risk to our young members.
2i. Multiple accounts are NOT to be created on CoS Forums for any reason. If you do so, you will be asked to choose the one you wish to keep and will have the other(s) removed. If you cause disruption in any way, shape or form with your multiple usernames you will be severely warned.
Reference: Personal Information & Impersonation Policy

2a. The goal of CoS Forums is to make sure everyone has a good time and can make friends. Obviously not everyone will agree with one another and we ask that you respect the opinions of others. Making sarcastic, or rude remarks directed at another member, or attacking others for holding views different to your own will not be tolerated. If you see this taking place, please report it to an Unspeakable or Admin immediately. Do not respond to the aggressor.
Reference: Forum FAQs - Please refer to question seven.
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy
Reference: The Charter of Values
Reference: Ministry of Magic Rules: 3rd Edition

3. The Staff of CoS Forums comprise of the Administrators, Unspeakables and Aurors. None of us are paid to do this job and therefore we are all maintaining this forum because we too are dedicated fans of the Harry Potter novels. While we appreciate and value your opinions on all topics, a Moderator's decision is final. If you continuously argue with members of staff, or respond rudely to warnings, then more warnings can and will be issued. If you wish to complain about a warning you have received, PM one of the Administrators.
Reference: CoS Staff
Reference: Morgoth, Ali, lanifiel, gertiekeddle, Alastor or Kizz, the forum administrators.

4. Please remember to watch your spelling, grammar and abbreviations. Lazy English and Instant Messaging/phone text lingo is not appreciated by anyone and doesn't help our many members who speak English as a second language. Please try and be as clear and precise as you can when posting. Remember to spell check your work using an online spell checker or MSWord and ALL CAPS is not to be used when posting comments. Ensure that you do not double or triple post. We have a handy edit feature to edit any comments back into a post if you can. We may consider it post-count boosting if you do this.
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy
Reference: Online spell checker

5. Under each forum you will notice a description. This indicates what sort of topics we expect to see in there, so be sure to read the descriptions carefully. If you are unsure about where to post your ideas, then please PM a Forum Leader. Remember also to utilise the search facility provided by CoS Forums, otherwise you may find yourself repeating threads that have already been started.
Reference: Search Engine

6. When creating a new thread, think about how you want to start it. The first impression an individual gets from your thread is the title, so it should be as clear as possible. A thread with the title "Phoenix", does not give members much of a reason to visit your thread, let alone comment within it. If you feel the absolute urge to post about your undying love for Harry or Draco or the actors, then your thread will be closed and you will be a sent a warning from a member of staff. Finally, please remember that all images uploaded to a thread must be relevant to the thread. Any that aren't, will be removed for bandwidth reasons.
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy

7. We ask that members don't write threads introducing themselves because there is no discussion that can come from them. These threads will be closed, so if you want to introduce yourself there is an introductions thread in The Great Hall to say 'hello.'
Reference: Introductions

8. Threads that are created with the sole purpose of providing negative commentary towards an actual person/persons are not permitted. If you wish to critique a public figure, make sure your comments are constructive and reasonable. These principles also apply to signatures, avatars, and the like. Additionally, threads that de-generate into nothing more than hate-filled ranting will also be closed and members will be warned in either case.
NOTE: To ensure that your thread is not closed, when starting a thread criticizing the comments or actions of a real life individual, you should approach the issue in a non-judgemental way, i.e. present your case factually and draw a non-hateful conclusion from that.
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy

9. Signatures are permitted on CoS, but there is a need to limit the type of signature you can have. This is to help reduce the load time of a thread for members on slower dial up connections. You may edit your signature in your profile and include one (1) small image of up to 300x300 pixels and 100KB (102400 bytes) and up to 7 lines of 8-12 point (size1-3) text. We will not allow html codes in signatures... No audio, javascripts, iframes or other "tricks" allowed. An Unspeakable or Administrator has the right to remove anything at anytime. Please also remember to close all tags and not to use ' < nobr >' . Last, please do not use excessive smilies. Smilies are a nice feature, but too many at one time can be very off putting. We are limiting smilies to 4 per signature. Any smilie which is not listed in our Smilie List counts as an image. NOTE: We operate the signature rules on a standard 1024x768 resolution and on the CoS Expanded layout.

Reference: Signature Content Policy
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy
Reference: Forum FAQs

10. CoS Forums does not encourage members to openly discuss file sharing activities. Whilst we understand that file sharing is a fact of life and will be continued by a lot of people, we will not allow members to openly support this activity publicly. Any threads which discuss, request or encourage downloading of illegal material such as the HP Movies or MP3s will be deleted by staff, and offending members will receive a two-point warning. Private discussion is between yourselves and is not discouraged, but we would strongly advise you look elsewhere for file sharing tips and advice. This rule WILL be enforced.
Reference: Zero Tolerance Policy

10a. In addition, when posting a news article of any kind please ensure that you are allowed to do so first of all. Posting articles from sites that first require a person to subscribe is against the rules. Most subscription-based news sites will indicate in their "terms of use" statement that users are required to abide by copyright law and not copy and paste articles elsewhere. This defeats the purpose of subscription and harms CoS.
Reference: Ministry of Magic Rules: 3rd Edition

Personal Web Blogs/Journals

Your personal journal such as LiveJournal or MySpace is not exempt from our rules. If your blog contains language or images that are offensive and certainly not family-friendly then you must either filter such comments through a friends-only option or not link the site at all on CoS, which is the better of the two options as it allows you to keep personal freedom over how you manage your blog.

We will not warn you for the content of your journal, we will warn you for linking a site with offensive material.

cos forums warning system

For every warning received a penalty point is added to the users profile, which is something only staff members will be able to see. Upon the member reaching 5 penalty points, they will be automatically banned from the site.
  • Member breaks the rules
  • - Member is warned, 1 point added to profile. 30 day review begins
    Staff informed of warning
  • - - Member breaks rules before 30 day review has concluded
  • - - - Member warned again, 1 point added to profile (2 points accumulated), 30 day review begins again.
    Staff updated
  • - - - - Member passes 30 day period without a warning, 1 point removed from profile (1 point remaining).
    Staff updated
...and so on.

The warning system incoroporates everything from violations of our signature content policy to any of our zero tolerance violations. Of course, there will still be instant bannings for serious offences and we will penalise you with 2 points for 'Above the threshold' offences as listed below and a 60 day review:
  • Abuse towards staff
  • Abuse towards members
  • Offensive signatures
  • Love Thread offense
  • DoIMC offense
  • Repeated off topic behaviour
  • Promoting illegal practises such as downloading music/movies or taking drugs.
  • Spam/Troll (although normally they will be removed from the site instantly)
  • Posting overly violent and sexually explicit fan fiction
For the above offenses, 1 point will be removed every 30 days.

For Hogsmeade members, please refer to the Hogsmeade Demotion Policy for further information on how this effects you.

  • New Warning System uses penalty points.
  • 1 point per warning, 2 points for greater offenses added to profile
  • 30 days to lose point, extended if further warnings received.
  • 5 points accumulated results in automatic banning
  • Instant bannings still in place for serious offenses.
  • Hogsmeade members lose Hogsmeade access for 90 days upon receiving 3 penalty points
If you have any questions about the rules or general queries about the forums you can PM Morgoth, Ali, lanifiel, gertiekeddle, Alastor or Kizz, the forum administrators.

Last edited by Hes; October 6th, 2011 at 1:50 pm. Reason: admins change
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