Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Rule change announcements

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043

    Rule change announcements

    Rule 5 has been modified to note that a PM to a moderator about official forum issues may be shared with other moderators unless there's a prior agreement not to do so.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 8 has been modified to cover large images as well as hotlinking:

    8. Hotlinking and large images

    Try to avoid putting in links to images directly from someone else's website. This can add a lot to their bandwidth, and then the host has to pay for it. In other words, if you see an image you like on an astronomy site, put in a link to that site, but don't use the [IMG] tags so the image loads into your post from their site directly. If you really want an image in your post, put it in a public site someplace and link to it from there. One exception would be from sites like NASA or universities, where bandwidth is not such an issue. If you own the image, then you can upload it to the board yourself.

    Additionally, don't embed a huge image (meaning an image that's over 100k or extends beyond the right-hand edge of a typical display) inline using the [IMG] tag but link to it instead. We still have dialup users and others with limited bandwidth for whom downloading a large image would be a significant annoyance.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 3 has been modified to cover abbreviated bad phrases:

    3. Language

    No cursing. This goes along with being polite. This website is read by a lot of kids, including young school kids who want to learn about astronomy, space, and space exploration. The Universe is a marvelous place, full of beauty and wonder, and if you despoil it by using bad language you will quickly invoke the ire of the administrators and moderators. Think of the language used on TV during an after-school special and you'll get the idea. Deliberately misspelled bad words, abbreviated bad phrases, or replacing key letters with different characters or numbers will not be tolerated. Same goes with adult topics -- talk about them somewhere else. If you do need to post something risqué, stick with arcane scientific terminology.

    This includes avatars: since you can upload an image to be your avatar, use care in choosing that image. Contact a moderator or administrator if you have any doubts.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 0 added:

    0. The Spirit of the Law.

    The purpose of all of these rules is to ensure that this forum remains a law-abiding, civil, and congenial place to engage in discussion. That a post complies with that spirit is a greater consideration than whether it can be defended as being within the rules.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 3 reworded but essentially unchanged:

    3. Language

    No cursing. This goes along with being polite. This website is read by a lot of kids, including young school kids who want to learn about astronomy, space, and space exploration. The Universe is a marvelous place, full of beauty and wonder, and if you despoil it by using bad language you will quickly invoke the ire of the administrators and moderators. Think of the language used on TV during an after-school special and you'll get the idea. Attempts to express bad words or phrases in messages or screen names, by any means such as (but not limited to): replacing key letters with different characters, misspellings homonyms, sound-alikes, abbreviations, or any other trick obvious enough to be noticed by a moderator will not be tolerated. Same goes with adult topics -- talk about them somewhere else. If you do need to post something risqué, stick with arcane scientific terminology.

    This includes avatars: since you can upload an image to be your avatar, use care in choosing that image. Contact a moderator or administrator if you have any doubts.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 5 has been updated as follows:

    5. Privacy Issues

    Do not post private email you have gained access to without the express permission of the sender. There are legal and copyright reasons for this, not to mention that doing so is very impolite. The same caveat applies to private messages, whether they're from this forum or anywhere else. If you receive rude or abusive private messages on this forum, you can report them via the same mechanism as inappropriate posts. Posting private information about forum users that is not available otherwise publicly will not be tolerated.

    However, private messages to a moderator about forum administration issues are an exception to this rule. These may be shared with other moderators (but only with other moderators) unless you have a prior agreement with the moderator not to do so. To put it another way, think of the moderator team as a single entity. A PM to one is a PM to all, at least when it comes to official business.
    Two changes:

    1. Changed "Do not post private email you have received" to "Do not post private email you have gained access to."

    2. Noted that PMs can now be reported using the same mechanism as message posts.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 5 has been modified to address a situation that has already occurred once with the comparatively recent PM reporting capability:

    5. Privacy Issues

    Posting private information about forum users that is not available otherwise publicly will not be tolerated. Do not post private email you have gained access to without the express permission of the sender. There are legal and copyright reasons for this, not to mention that doing so is very impolite. The same caveat applies to private messages, whether they're from this forum or anywhere else. If you receive rude or abusive private messages on this forum, you can report them via the same mechanism as inappropriate posts.

    However, private messages to a moderator about forum administration issues are an exception to this rule. These may be shared with other moderators (but only with other moderators) unless you have a prior agreement with the moderator not to do so. To put it another way, think of the moderator team as a single entity. A PM to one is a PM to all, at least when it comes to official business.

    Note that if you do report a private message that you consider inappropriate, you should provide background information regarding any private discussions that preceded that message, since the moderators (unlike with public message posts) cannot establish context without such information. Members who report inappropriate messages without revealing that they sent messages that might have goaded the sender into writing such a message will be dealt with severely.

    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 17 modified to point out that if you disagree with a moderator post, you're welcome to report it:

    17. Moderator Actions

    If there is a rule violation, then a moderator will take action. This may include: the deletion of a word or phrase (if it breaks the rules), the removal of an entire post (if it is beyond redemption, or if it's a spam, etc.), the merging of a new thread with an existing one on the same topic, the closing of a thread if it wanders too far off-topic or gets too heated, a gentle warning to a user or users, a not-so-gentle-warning, and as a last resort, the banning of a user. This banning may be temporary or permanent, as outlined above. If a moderator gives you advice, we advise you to take it.

    If you disagree with a moderator action, then PM or email the moderator, a different moderator, or an administrator. If it's a post by a moderator that you disagree with, you can report the post using the usual mechanism. We will review the case and take action as needed.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,207
    The Advice for conspiracy-theory supporters has been updated, with the addition of Advice # 11.
    11. The CT forum may also be used for the critical analysis of websites that advocate specific astronomy and space related conspiracies. Such discussions should be limited to the specific claims of those websites and the scientific arguments against those claims. Such discussions are not an excuse to bash the claimants of such conspiracies.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,207
    The moderation team has made some changes to the wording of two Rules, and to the Advice fro ATM Advocates.

    The main change to Rule 13 and the Advice is to remove the wording about "attacking arguments with glee and fervor", and replace it with wording that people will "vigorously challenge your arguments". Frankly, some people seemed to be too much into arguing and seemed to be taking "glee and fervor" as an excuse for rude behavior. Challenging an advocate of an ATM idea is not posting "You're wrong", it is having a polite and serious discussion.

    We have also modified Rule 3 (Language) to simplify the wording (make it a little "cleaner" - pun intended).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 8 has been modified to discourage video embedding as well as large image embedding:

    8. Hotlinking and large images

    Try to avoid putting in links to images or video directly from someone else's website. This can add a lot to their bandwidth, and then the host has to pay for it. In other words, if you see an image you like on an astronomy site, put in a link to that site, but don't use the [IMG] tags so the image loads into your post from their site directly. If you really want an image in your post, put it in a public site someplace and link to it from there. One exception would be from sites like NASA or universities, where bandwidth is not such an issue. If you own the image, then you can upload it to the board yourself.

    Additionally, don't embed a huge image (meaning an image that's over 100k or 800 pixels wide) or a video of any size inline using the [img] or [video] tags. We still have dialup users and others with limited bandwidth for whom downloading a large image would be a significant annoyance.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    21,881
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Rule 8 has been modified to discourage video embedding as well as large image embedding:
    Another way to think about this is that a rising share of people reading this forum are doing so on mobile devices, and have a monthly limit on downloads before they have to pay. Please help them by giving them the option to download rather than making it part of the post. Someday we'll all be on infinite data plans with super-fast connections, and then we can loosen up on this rule.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 17 has been modified to be more explicit about appropriate ways of expressing disagreement with a moderation decision.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 1 has been cleaned up and modified to include a proviso against distributing advice best left to the professionals.

    from:

    1. Posting Topics

    First and foremost, this discussion forum focuses upon space and astronomy. Please stay within these areas when creating topics and participating in existing conversations. The Off-Topic Babbling section exists for general banter which falls outside space and astronomy -- and do note that the forum rules apply there as well. Scientific topics outside of space and astronomy are welcome in the General Science section.
    to:

    1. Posting Topics

    First and foremost, this discussion forum focuses upon space and astronomy. Unless the section title or description clearly indicates otherwise, please stay within these areas when creating topics and participating in existing conversations.

    We do have an Off-Topic Babbling section for general banter that falls outside of space and astronomy. People will sometimes talk there about personal issues they are facing, but they should refrain from requesting or offering advice that is best dispensed by a medical, mental health, or legal professional.

    Rule 12 has been changed to delete references to the nonexistent forum linked to the BA's blog.

    from:

    12. Politics & Religion

    Due to the contentious nature of these subjects, forum participants are strongly advised to avoid discussing religious and political issues. Please don't begin or contribute to a topic that's merely going to incite or fuel a flame war.

    However, the following exceptions apply:

    A) Political impact upon space programs, exploration, and science.

    B) Focused, polite discussion of concepts such as creationism and "intelligent design" which bear direct relevance to astronomy and science, for the purposes of conversing about and addressing misconceptions.

    C) Focused, polite discussion of the difference between astronomy (including cosmology) and religion

    D) In the Bad Astronomy Stories section only, focused, polite discussion of topics or issues brought up in the originating post. Do not start a new thread there with your own topics, and do not take the discussion to another forum section.

    Partisan political debate is unwelcome anywhere but in the Bad Astronomy Stories section (see 12D above) and should be undertaken elsewhere. The same applies to debates purely religious in nature. Likewise, proselytizing will not be allowed. In short, outside of the Bad Astronomy Stories section you are allowed to discuss politics and religion within a very limited scope where they affect space and space exploration, astronomy, and science. Nothing more. If you really really need to talk about these topics with someone, take it to email or to another bulletin board.
    to:

    12. Politics & Religion

    Due to the contentious nature of these subjects, forum participants are strongly advised to avoid discussing religious and political issues. Please don't begin or contribute to a topic that's merely going to incite or fuel a flame war.

    However, the following exceptions apply:

    A) Political impact upon space programs, exploration, and science.

    B) Focused, polite discussion of concepts such as creationism and "intelligent design" which bear direct relevance to astronomy and science, for the purposes of conversing about and addressing misconceptions.

    C) Focused, polite discussion of the difference between astronomy (including cosmology) and religion

    Partisan political debate is unwelcome anywhere on this forum. The same applies to debates purely religious in nature. Likewise, proselytizing will not be allowed. In short, you are allowed to discuss politics and religion within a very limited scope where they affect space and space exploration, astronomy, and science. Nothing more. If you really really need to talk about these topics with someone, take it to email or to another bulletin board.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,207
    The Advice to ATM Advocates has been updated with a new item 4 (and everything else moved down one).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    30,043
    Rule 12 has been updated to express more strongly the limitations of discussing politics and religion here:

    Since this forum is devoted to science and discussions of politics and religion are both off-topic and tend to incite behavior we discourage, forum participants are generally prohibited from discussing religious and political issues. Please don't begin or contribute to a topic that's merely going to incite or fuel a flame war.

    However, the following exceptions apply:

    A) Political impact upon space programs, exploration, and science.

    B) Focused, polite discussion of concepts such as creationism and "intelligent design" which bear direct relevance to astronomy and science, for the purposes of conversing about and addressing misconceptions.

    C) Focused, polite discussion of the difference between astronomy (including cosmology) and religion.

    If you have any doubts about whether a topic meets these guidelines or would be otherwise acceptable, contact a moderator or administrator prior to posting about it.

    Note that partisan political debate is unwelcome anywhere on this forum. The same applies to debates purely religious in nature. Likewise, proselytizing will not be allowed. In short, you are allowed to discuss politics and religion within a very limited scope where they affect space and space exploration, astronomy, and science. Nothing more. If you really really need to talk about these topics with someone, take it to email, private messages, or another bulletin board.
    Changes are in bold.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,207
    The Rule 13 and the LiS forum stickie at the top of Life In Space has been updated.

    We have removed the possibility of allowing ATM discussions in LiS with ATM claim burdens (the wording was "Specific claim threads or posts made here and left here may be assumed to bear the same evidential burden as they would in the CT forum"). We have clarified that any ATM claims will be dealt with as ATM outside of ATM is dealt with in the rest of the forum. We have also clarified that ATM topics include non-mainstream ideas about the Origin of Life.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Clear Lake City, TX
    Posts
    12,614
    Rule 8 has been updated to allow embedding videos if they don't automatically play themselves. (Change in bold.)

    Additionally, don't embed a huge image (meaning an image that's over 100k or 800 pixels wide) or any video that automatically starts playing. We still have dialup users and others with limited bandwidth for whom downloading a large image would be a significant annoyance.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.
    Isaac Asimov

    You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views.
    Doctor Who

    Moderation will be in purple.
    Rules for Posting to This Board

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    15,359
    Not a rule change, but a clarification added to rule 13, concerning the ATM forum.

    The purpose of the Against The Mainstream forum is to allow you to defend a non-mainstream scientific idea, hypothesis or theory. Once. For 30 days only. A number of behavior rules follow from that. The forum is not for developing an idea. Either you have something to defend, or you don't. Not "hey guys, what if X? Do the math for me please!". It's not for complaining about mainstream science. It's not for spamming an idea and never posting again.

    30 days are short, therefor we crack down hard on things that distract from the forum's primary purpose of defending your idea. Like other "helpers" or collaborators chiming in. Like arguing about moderator actions. Like side discussions on the merit of the ATM forum. Like attacking the person, not the idea. Like other off-topic stuff.
    This is just to make some of the things that are not immediately clear to new members more explicit in the rules.

    We are aware that for developing theories collaboration is almost always required. But developing ATM theories is not one of this forums purposes. Sadly, as much as we try, we cannot make everyone happy.
    ____________
    "Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa
    "Your right to hold an opinion is not being contested. Your expectation that it be taken seriously is." -- Jason Thompson
    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

    Moderator comments in this color | Get moderator attention using the lower left icon:
    Recommended reading: Forum Rules * Forum FAQs * Conspiracy Theory Advice * Alternate Theory Advocates Advice

Similar Threads

  1. No Forum post announcements...?
    By thothicabob in forum Forum Introductions and Feedback
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2007-Sep-11, 07:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •