What rules to people agree to by joining and what are the penalities for not abiding by the rules? Areas to consider:
All members are to be treated with respect and courtesy.
If you have a problem with someone on the forum, private message me about it. Insults, flames, and other forms of mudslinging will be tolerated only to a certain degree. Debates are fine, but do not cross the line with them. Those who repeatedly break this rule will receive three warnings tops, and if they still continue, they will be banned. There is no excuse for posting hateful, abusive messages intended to hurt people.
Be mindful of common decency.
This is not an adult forum, which means no pornography, crude sexual remarks, or overly gory pictures. I actually do not want to see any naked people on here at all. Artists, I'm sorry, but you cannot post fully revealed pictures here. This board should be able to be viewed at a school, library, or work place without any question. People could lose their jobs or get in big trouble at school if they happen to be caught looking at such things.
No lock mongering.
Do not predict that a thread will be locked, or openly ask that a thread be locked. If I feel a thread should be locked, then I will do so. Again, if you have problems with something on the forum, private message me.
No double posting.
Or rather, no unnecessary double posting. You may double post if you have a good reason to. Use your own discretion.
There are quote and edit buttons for a reason. Double posting is strongly discouraged, but you will not receive a warning for this unless you make it a habit. Also, if you're replying to someone, there is no need to always quote her or his whole message. I don't want needless clutter on the forum; it impairs the overall readability.
Don't threaten the forum with hacks or whatever.
Doing that is going to result in an instant ban. I'm not going to tolerate stuff like that. It's best not to even try my patience by playing around saying stuff like that.
No multiple accounts.
It's as simple as that. Believe me, we will find out if you have one, or more than one, and depending on the circumstances, you may be instantly and permanently banned. Do not think that just because you can use different IP addresses you will be able to get away with this without us knowing. There is no good reason for you to have more than one account. This forum is not a playground meant for you to deceive people so you can cause trouble, do social experiments, for personal amusement, to support debates, or for attention. If, under special circumstances, you need another account, contact me about it first.
Do not post in an inactive thread that is more than one week old, unless you have a very good reason to. Again, this is strongly discouraged, but you will not receive a formal warning unless you keep on doing it. However, I may very well say something about it.
Do not go off-topic.
Try to keep your posts related to the topic that is being discussed. If you find yourself wanting to talk about something else, make another topic for it.
No religious or political debate topics
-- or topics that can easily turn into a debate over them. These tend to get too personal. I have seen such things totally divide a forum and bring the whole mood of the place down. There are many, many other places to discuss such things. Depending on how things go in the future, I may think about amending this rule, but for now, let's avoid these subjects, please.
Do not come here with the intent of causing trouble or starting some sort of forum war.
If you were banned from another forum, or wronged in some way, please do not come expressing all of your grievances here looking for allies. Just know that as long as you don't break our rules, you're welcome here and forget about the past. Don't come here from another forum and try to start trouble with this forum and another one. You may be banned for doing this. We're not interested in inter-forum drama.
No hate messages.
Racist, sexist, anti-religious, or any type of hate messages will not be tolerated. If you're banned over such a thing, do not think it unfair, because it's stated right here in the rules that they aren't allowed.
No duplicate topics.
Do not post a topic more than once, or a topic that is very similar to one that is currently going on, or happened quite recently. These topics will be locked. Take a look around the forum to see if what you wanted to post has been discussed recently.
Spam is posting pointless messages just for the sake of posting. This includes replies like "LOL" and "Yeah". Please post only when you have something new to contribute to a topic. A new post in a topic is not always a cue for you to post again. If you have nothing to say, don't post. As I've mentioned before, I do not like needless clutter on the forum.
Be mindful of spoilers.
If you're going to discuss spoilers, have the courtesy to put up a warning first. If you make a habit of not doing this, expect to be warned.
Images (including avatars and signatures).
Try not to post images that are over 700 pixels wide. If you need something resized, don't be shy about private messaging me about it.
As for avatars and signatures - the max size for avatars is 150x150 pixels, and keep your signatures at or below 500x200 pixels, including text. Also, animated gifs that have like 10,000 frames that will cause really bad lag for some are discouraged (this does not mean ALL animated gifs). You may have only one image in your signature.
You would go about posting images on the forum like so:
Simply put the url of your desired image within the img brackets. Instead of doing it manually, while posting, if you look at the bottom row of where it says "Add BBC tags," there are small square icons. Click on the second from the left and the brackets will appear for you.
You may advertise your site if you wish, but coming here with the sole intent of doing that is really frowned upon. If it is a political, religious, pornographic, or crude site, then it will not be allowed here, and it may result in an instant ban depending on the site and circumstances. Do not go overboard with topics and plugs for your site. Also, no money making schemes, please. If advertising gets out of hand, it will be relegated to signatures only.
The Ricarde and I reserve the right of banning offenders from the boards, temporarily or permanently, without warning. You may be warned, or you may not, at our discretion. But realize that the reasons behind a banning involve violating the rules. They have nothing to do with what we may think of an individual.
Bannings and lesser disciplinary actions should not be discussed on the boards. Those are matters best left between the poster and myself. If you're not sure why someone was banned, do not make a topic or post in a topic asking why.
Temporary Bans and Ban Evasion.
If you get temporarily banned and decide to somehow evade your ban, you will be permanently banned. If someone breaks the rules while even banned, I don't see a reason to allow them back to the forum. If you do get permanently banned, that means you're no longer welcome here because of something you did wrong.
I want to re-emphasize that. You are no longer welcome here. You would do much better to learn from your mistakes and move on with your life, instead of being immature and trying to terrorize our community in some way, or trying to come back to a place that no longer wants you around.
If you join this forum, and do not make any post within the first two weeks of having registered, your account stands the chance of being deleted. I see no reason for anyone to register at this forum and not at all contribute to it. Having accounts that are not going to be used only clutters our database. I can't promise whether or not an account like that will be deleted. It's kind of on an 'if we feel like it' basis. However, if you have an account like that, don't be surprised if it disappears.
I want to emphasize that if you have a concern, question, or problem with the forum, you may go to a moderator or community leader about it. That is why we are here. Do not ask the other Chapel Staff members. Their duties are elsewhere; it is our job to oversee the message board. Only The Ricarde, MCW, Baldogon, and myself can take any authoritative action to fix problems.
If you believe that the moderators are not treating you fairly, or that we're doing a bad job, contact MCW, Baldogon or Ricarde about it through PM or e-mail.
If you think you may have a problem abiding by these rules, then maybe this particular forum is not for you. I don't think I'm asking too much, but if you have any questions or concerns, please PM me, or discuss them in the Announcements sub-forum.