1. Don't argue with the Admin when asked/told to do something. If you dislike a decision that is made, accept it and move on.
2. Do not threaten or imply that you will bring a lawsuit against us. Doing so will result in your account being immediately closed. We do not extend the courtesy of posting privileges to people who threaten to sue us. We occasionally get a poster who wants a post removed and thinks to improve the chances by saying something to the effect of: "I don't want to bring the lawyers in, but if this post isn't removed, I will". If a post warrants removal it will be removed, however if you make a statement like that, so will your account.
3. Copying any article/image that is copyright protected from any source, anywhere, and posting it in full or in substantial part on the forums, is not allowed. Maximum amount of copying allowed is one paragraph (five sentences) plus a link to the original source.
4. Don't create multiple user accounts. If you suspect someone is a sock puppet, PM the administrator. Do not make a public accusation on the boards.
5. Do not engage in personal vendettas or harassment
. To wit: people will disagree, sometimes vehemently, however, if you have a personal distaste for a particular poster/ theory/topic, ignore them/it. Do not follow them/it around the boards, do not engage in never ending commentary after their every post or every time the subject is raised, do not take every opportunity to attack them/it. To prove harassment, there must be a pattern established. Having an argument with someone (or even a series of arguments) does not constitute harassment. If you are responding to a poster in kind, you are not being harassed, you are having an argument. If you are not responding and they continue to harass you, you may invoke the harassment rule. If that occurs, neither one of you will be permitted to respond to the others posts. If you have a particular distaste for a topic, to the point that you will not allow others to discuss the theory without resorting to ridicule or derailing the thread (and again, if there is a pattern established) you might also be prohibited from commenting on that theory.
6. Do not engage in sexual solicitations of other posters on the boards or make sexual innuendos/comments about posters. The boards are not a pick-up place and people might find it deeply disturbing to have someone attempt to pick them up on a board devoted to serial killers. Save it for the conferences. In addition, do not threaten other posters with any form of physical violence. Do not do either of these, even if you think it's clear you are joking. Not everyone will appreciate your special sense of humor.
7. Do not engage in trolling behavior. For the purposes of these forums, trolling is defined as any behavior designed to disrupt a thread. If you believe a thread is too silly, stupid or offensive to be discussed seriously, ignore it. Remember, just because you don't find a topic worthy of serious discussion, doesn't mean there aren't others who do. Disrupting someone's thread with inflammatory or off-topic posts because you personally don't agree with it is trolling. Abide by the OP's stated intentions in starting the thread. This does not mean you can't take issue with the thread or point out silliness or flaws in the topic as long as your posts are on topic.
Pouring ridicule on anyone who wishes to discuss the topic, is not on-topic.
8. Do not engage in personal attacks of posters.
Personal Attacks Policy:
If you are not sure what constitutes a personal attack, as a general rule anything with the pronouns "you" or "your" that is not a compliment should just be avoided. If a negative statement is about the person and not the topic, it constitutes an attack. "This idea is silly" is not a personal attack. "Your silly idea" or "You keep repeating the same silly ideas...." is.
Remove the personal from your statements.
If a poster makes a single mild attacking post that says something like "you are being ridiculous" they probably will not receive an infraction for a single slip. It happens, let's agree to be grown ups. However if they make several "mild" attacks in a single thread and have a general attacking/snide tone, that is worth reporting. Persistent mild attacks grow to serious, significant attacks and turns into sniping matches as opposed to on-topic, valuable conversations.
Convoluted means of attacking someone will be considered attacks. Like pornography, we know it when we see it.
Any attempt to circumvent the rules and insult or defame a poster by not naming them, but including them in a collective group like "people who..." or "members of a group of Ripperologists" or "the cabal/cartel" conspiracy is ... will earn double infraction points. Insulting someone and attempting to get out of the penalty by being shady is double the offense.
Responding to someone's personal attack with a personal attack of your own will still earn you an infraction. "S/he started it" is not an excuse.
Slander/Libel/Personal Attacks of Published Authors
Comments on published works will generally not be considered libelous or fall under the personal attack policy (even though some authors post here) unless they are completely off the wall or not based on evidence. If there is evidence that an author deliberately left out information, failed to do research, plagiarized, fabricated evidence, whatever, then people's honest opinions -of the work and the author - will not be considered libelous/attacking. Authors are Public Figures and they cannot expect to have everyone love and admire their work. There is also protection for the poster from claims of libel when it comes to discussing public figures. We are based in America, and we base our Public Figure/Libel rules on U.S. standards. If there is evidence of wrongdoing on an author's part then a poster has the right to express their opinion of the work and the author when discussing the author's work or contributions.
This is not a wholesale free pass to insult the author freely throughout time (especially if they are posting on unrelated threads or topics). If the author's work is being discussed, any criticism is valid, as long as it pertains to the work and is evidence-based or an honest opinion of generalities. "I think this book and author are crap" is a personal opinion and valid, and doesn't require any evidence, because it is the poster's opinion and while it is not supported, it is an opinion on the work. "This author is an azzhole and I think he sucks." is not valid because it is not based on his work.
We cannot read every post. We rely on our members using the Report Post button to keep us in the loop. We will try to catch as many as possible but do not promise perfection. We also do not particularly care what occurs in Pub Talk (unless especially egregious). We are primarily concerned with keeping the Ripper threads as uncontaminated with personality conflicts and as on topic as possible.
Any violation of these or of the Minor Rules can result in you receiving an infraction. Multiple infractions received can result in your account being suspended. To view information on the infraction system, with examples specifically related to personal attacks and how to report a post, please click here