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 Forum Etiquette

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Join date : 2009-06-02

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PostSubject: Forum Etiquette   Forum Etiquette I_icon_minitimeWed 3 Jun - 17:27

A bit confused how you should behave in an online community? Here's a guideline for basic forum etiquette. Most of this is simple common sense, but it never hurts to have a handy overview.

Read the Rules and Guidelines before posting.

Always act civil. Rule number one in any sort of community is making an effort to remain polite, no matter how heated a discussion or situation can get. Once you cross the border of civilized behavior to rude, offensive or insultive behavior, a conversation can quickly turn into a flaming match. Flaming is a direct violation of RPA's rules and will be punished accordingly.

Be respectful in discussions. This is vital. Don't flaunt your opinion like it's the end all, be all of human thought. No one is perfect, and discussions are there to exchange opinions, not to try and force your own onto people.

Don't generalize. Judging a whole group of people based on the actions of just one is a no-go. There are people of different walks of life on this site, and some may be part of that group you're holding in contempt. Keep that in mind during discussions at all times, please.

Leave your personal problems at home. This is a forum where we all come to escape from our busy daily lives to relax and have some fun. No one wants to see two people taking it out on eachother in public. You don't start a fight in the middle of the supermarket either, do you? If you have to fight, take it to PM's, but never involve the Staff in something that did not originate on RPA.

No personal attacks. Not even veiled ones. Don't do it. We will find out.

Relativize. If someone's post offends you, don't jump on them like an angry bull. Take your time to carefully read through the post in question and ask yourself if it couldn't have been unintentionally. If you still have doubts, take a break from the forum to calm down, then come back to ask the member in question privately if they meant an insult, and if the answer is yes, why. Please don't bring the staff in discussions like this, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Give credit where credit is due. Plagiarism, the taking of someone else's work and claiming it to be your own, is the worst form of bad manners. Just don't do it.

Don't invade someone's privacy. Unless someone gives you their express permission, always suppose that they do not want you nosing around in their private business. Hacking into accounts is the way to get yourself banned.

Stay on topic. A topic is made for a specific purpose and goal, be it to share experiences or to spark a discussion. Any sort of straying from this topic is not only a form of bad manner, but it also clutters the conversation needlessly. A little straying from the point is alright, but if a topic starts with the question what color you want your hair to be, and ends with a long discussion about how everything causes cancer, the staff will lock it.

Post in the most appropriate forum. Basically, do your research. The subforums are pretty self-explanatory, a topic about your favorite musician goes in the Music subforum, under Entertainment. A topic about asking tips to quit smoking is best in its place under Life, the universe and everything under The news and current events.

Don't talk in circles. If a discussion isn't going anywhere, cut it off or move on to another related subject. It's not nice for others to read posts wherein basically the same thing is said over and over again.

No power-posting. Post actual content. A lone 'haha' is okay occasionally, but only in the topics in the Downtown forum. Don't overdo it just to up your post count. If you feel the need to spam, play the Guys VS. Girls game, or the Count to 1,000,000,000! game. Spamming is a direct violation of RPA's rules and will be punished accordingly.

Keep it clean. A NSWF-thread, image or piece of text here and there is okay, but any form of promoting an illegal activity is not something we want to see on RPA. Use your common sense: this is a site with people who are anywhere between twelve and fifty. Any material too explicit will not be allowed and removed immediately. As such, do not cyber (publicly) either.

Lay low with namechanges. It's a great feature to have on a site, being able to change your screenname at will. There's already the rule that you can't change your name more than once in seven days, but this certainly doesn't mean you should change your name every week. Try to use some common sense - too many namechanges could confuse your fellow members and it's extra work for the staff, too.

Respect the staffmembers. Even if you don't agree with them, treat them with the respect that is rightfully theirs. The staff is why this forum is running smoothly and can continue to exist. If you do have a problem with a staffmember, always try and resolve it peacefully before you take any other kind of action.
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