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Reporting Posts and the Infraction System

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  • Reporting Posts and the Infraction System

    We rely on our members to assist us in policing the boards. We cannot be everywhere and we cannot read every post. Also, we presume to some extent that if no one is complaining, then there are no problems. If you see a post that violates one of the rules, please use the Report Post button.

    The Report Post button is a small flag icon that is located in the bottom right hand corner of each post. When you report the post, please reference the specific Rule that the poster has violated. We ask that you do this because we often get Report Posts that say something like "this post was rude". Rude is not necessarily against the rules of the forums. However, some rude posts are also off-topic or violations of the personal attack policy. It is the off-topic part that is of interest to us. If a post contains nothing but rude insults to a specific poster, that is off-topic and against the rules. If a post is rude, but germane to the thread, it is not as much of a concern. If a poster is impolite, we presume all are adult enough to handle it without moderator intervention. The best way to handle it is to ignore the rude poster, and not be drawn into an off-topic argument. Our main focus on the Ripper related threads is that they remain Ripper related. These posts are archived and saving off-topic sniping matches is not worth the server space. Occasionally if we receive multiple report posts from the same thread, we may temporarily (or permanently) close the thread while we attempt to sort it out. We occasionally re-start new threads with strings of posts that are off-topic in one forum, but on-topic for another, say a string of suspect posts that are occurring in a police officer's forum. If posts have no redeeming value, they are usually deleted. If a topic you are posting on is closed, do not continue the argument/discussion on another thread. We will either eventually open the thread once we have properly reviewed it or decide to close it permanently at which point we will post a notice about its permanent closure.

    Report Posts are confidential. We do not divulge who reports a post to the one reported and we do not divulge what action, if any, we choose to take to the the person who made the report. We will judge the validity of the Report and act accordingly, but we will not discuss disciplinary matters with anyone other than the person they involve. If you report a post for deletion (especially one that is personally hostile towards you) and then proceed to reply to it, we will consider that you decided that your response was more important than any action we might have taken and ignore your report post. If it proceeds to a lengthy off-topic argument that requires our intervention, you will BOTH receive infractions for wasting moderator time. Reporting a post and then responding to it is usually a poster's attempt to have the last word. This doubles the amount of deleting we have to do if a post is deemed worthy of removal. So decide before you report a post which is more important: our response or your own.

    If one of your posts is reported, you may receive a PM from one of the Admin stating that you have received an infraction. The infraction system is the way we keep track of problems on the board. The PM will detail the nature of your infraction and what we wish you to do to remedy it, if there is a remedy needed. The post will also state that you have received a certain number of points with an expiration date. If you receive a specific number of points in a given time period, your account will be automatically suspended.

    Infraction Points and Suspensions

    Each rule violation can receive an infraction and a point. Points have expiration dates. So if you receive a minor infraction, that point expires in 1 month, and will not penalize you if you have another violation in 2 months. In general, the rule violation and points they are worth are as follows:

    Violation .........................Points................Expires
    Minor Rule Violation........... 1 ................ 1 Month(s)
    General Offense................ 1 ................ 3 Month(s)
    Personal Attack.................. 1 ............... 3 Month(s)
    Major Rule Violation............ 2 ............... 3 Month(s)
    Serious Personal Attack....... 2 ................ 3 Month(s)

    In addition, we have a category that allows us to give a Custom Infraction and assign any points or expiration date that we wish. This is the nuclear option.

    Here is an example of what you might expect to receive in various situations.

    A poster makes two consecutive posts that are basically on-topic but includes a line that states "These silly ideas of yours diminish your theory" and "Your silly ideas continue to ..." This was more than one minor slip, this was two minor slips, so they would receive a Personal Attack - 1point infraction. This includes snide or sarcastic comments about the person as opposed to the topic. Negative posts that are solely about the poster and their "style" or ability or thought processes and that add nothing to the conversation should be avoided and will earn an infraction. Posts should be about the case and NOT specifically about the poster.

    Contrast that to a poster who makes six or seven minor attacks of that nature, or a poster who states "You are such an idiot". This former indicates a pattern and the latter is a direct insult. This would be a Serious Personal Attack - 2 pts.

    Now suppose a poster goes off on a rant that states something like "You ******* imbecile, you think you know so much...." and proceeds along that tone. Or suppose a poster goes out of their way to directly insult a poster by creating a thread about them simply to attack them. It is here we would use the Custom infraction and look at your overall posting history and what preceded the attack and what followed the attack to determine an appropriate number of points and an appropriate suspension time. Custom infractions are also used when we have seen several instances of the same behavior from a poster, have warned them repeatedly and they continue to exhibit that behavior. Say a poster continually hijacks threads with their own suspect bias and interrupts others conversations and they have received a previous warning, and they do it again. Even though hijacking is technically a minor offense, the repeated nature of the offense would elevate it to a custom level, and we would assign more points to give them the ban we feel is needed -- whatever that may be. The total sum of the posters history will be looked at in assigning the points and the expiration date.

    Infractions can be viewed in your UserCP only by yourself and Admin. You will receive a PM for each infraction given.

    Points - Suspension
    3 points - 1 week
    4 points - 2 weeks
    5 points - 3 Weeks
    6 points - 3 months

    Sometimes a poster violates a rule and they are issued an infraction/warning instead of an infraction. The Warning adds no points to their posting total, however, if the poster violates the rule a second time, they will receive double the points.
    If a post contains nothing of on-topic value it may be deleted entirely. If the infraction occurred within a larger post that had valuable content, it will likely be allowed to stay, but may be edited, depending upon the seriousness of the violation.

    We rarely issue infractions. However, when we do contact you regarding an issue, one of two things can occur. Either you reply, "Ok, sorry," or the equivalent and we say no problem, people are human and we all move on. Or you reply something along the lines of "How come Poster B gets to get away with x, y, or z" or "How come you are picking on me, when so and so did this" or "God, can't you take a joke" or the equivalent in which case you get to enjoy an immediate and non-negotiable 4-6 week (or longer, possibly permanent) suspension from posting, depending on the nature of your response. To repeat: You are more likely to be banned for giving us attitude or argument when we ask you to quit doing something than you would have been for the offense in the first place. Everyone will probably receive an infraction from us at some point or another, and receiving an infraction leaves no lasting grudge or consequence against you. But the nature of your response will absolutely determine your continued future on the boards.

    Occasionally, you may dislike a decision we make. You may then feel that you have the right to tell us how we ought to run the boards, or what we ought to allow, or what we should do in a particular situation. You may then have the urge to go on a public rant about what we are doing wrong or attempt to start a public debate on how it ought to be done, in your opinion. Resist this urge. You are entitled to any opinion of our operation that you like, but you are not entitled to use the server space we provide you to tell us how to run it. Keep in mind that you do not own these forums, you are a guest here and no one is forcing you to remain. Guests who violate the rules of hospitality are shown the door. Occasionally, posters wish to express their angst by posting how they are leaving forever, or state how they don't even know what the point is of continuing on the boards, etc. Such posts will be construed as your desire to have your account rendered inactive and, should we see them, we will act accordingly.

    Not every rule can be covered in the Major Rules or the Minor Rules. Sometimes something happens that we need to address that does not violate a specific rule. Once the Admin has asked you not to do something, consider it a rule. Failure to follow the rules will result in your account being banned. Any post that violates the rules is subject to deletion without notice or warning. If you have a question regarding a post being deleted, or any disciplinary action taken, PM the Admin.

    Thank you for your assistance and understanding.
    Last edited by Admin; 02-10-2019, 05:09 PM.