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General Rules and Guidelines for the Elsmar Cove forum
We consider this a "family site", which also means *Office Friendly* for people who visit from their place of employment, and the guidelines we use to moderate the discussion forums are based on the "PG-13" rating for movies. Obviously, this means that there is a certain amount of subjectivity at work here. Moderators are given wide latitude and you can expect that we will make some mistakes from time to time.
We cannot please everyone all the time. Our goal is to establish a happy medium that will keep the largest number of people pleased with their experience here. One way for you to make a positive impact towards that goal is to remember that not all members here are alike. In addition to the range of opinions in the discussion forums, you will also find a wide variety of ages, native languages, nationalities and cultures. One of the most common sources of conflict is simply the failure to understand and appreciate who you are addressing. If you remember that when you post, and choose your words with a respect for our differences, many disagreements can be avoided.
While we do our best to listen to the concerns of every member, it is important to understand that if you feel attacked (by name calling, belittling, sarcasm, etc.), YOU need to Report the post in question. Verbal attacks will not be tolerated. Moderators will review a reported post, considering its content, context and tone. Additionally, we expect that you will not fuel the fires of offensive behavior by responding in kind.
Participants must understand, however, that relationships develop here that result in some fun between friends. At first glance, these may appear to be verbal attacks but they are allowed as long as they do not exceed the concept of good fun. What constitutes "good fun" will be determined by the Moderators and violations will be reprimanded. For this reason, then, if you are not the recipient of a verbal attack, please do not report the post -- it may all be in fun.
Other members may of course report a post that violates any of the site-wide Elsmar Cove forum TOS (Terms of Service). We do anticipate that violations will be self-corrected by the participation of our members. Like any environment, the discussion forums are healthiest when everyone involved is paying attention.
And we remind all participants that both the guidelines and the Report links here are not meant to allow you to try and enforce your personal feelings about appropriate behavior.
For the same reason, it's important to understand that some members here view these forums more as a playground; a place where they feel comfortable "unwinding." This can take a variety of forms, according to individual personality and style. As a consequence, you will find jokes and innuendo of all kinds scattered throughout these forums.
We chose the PG-13/'Office Friendly' guidelines to help everyone understand the limitations of acceptable content in their posts. But Moderators are not here to enforce a particular view of "taste." The "Ignore" feature of the software is provided to help each user do that for themselves. We expect each member to use it if they find another member to be particularly offensive. Similarly, we trust that each member is capable of choosing what kind of content is acceptable to them. If you find a topic or a post that you consider to be morally or ethically reprehensible, then our advice is not to respond to it unless you are willing to discuss your value system in a challenging exchange of opinions.