Last weekend at the BOD meeting at Elachee, the SORBA forum mission statement and Forum policy rules document was presented and voted in without exception and unanimously. The following is now officially the document we shall enforce.
The SORBA forum is intended to be a family-friendly online resource that chronicles the history and current activities of SORBA. SORBA acknowledges and appreciates that, in many cases, a person’s first introduction to SORBA is through this forum. The Forum shall primarily serve SORBA’s members by providing information about trails, local chapters and their activities (work parties, rides, events,) and mountain biking advocacy.
1) You must first register to use the forum. Enter a valid email address and fill out your user profile. This is an open forum, and fellow users must be able to determine who you are, although you may use a nickname for your account.
A user may have only one account. Setting up multiple accounts and posing as different people is not allowed.
2) Posts that advertise for a business or product are not allowed. This includes posts with links for sales, items for sale, or online coupons. Forum users cannot post these items for a business, either.
However, within the context of an existing thread, you can reply with information about a business, a sale, or a coupon, and you may include a link. Bike shops and individuals may make these types of replies. SORBA strongly encourages our forum users to support local bike shops and manufacturers that are SORBA sponsors.
Individuals may post classified ads to buy and sell used or unwanted items. The Buy/Sell area of the forum exists for this purpose.
Signatures may contain links to websites for companies, bike shops, personal blogs etc. This is not considered advertising.
Posting Bike shop or manufacturer demos is allowed, as long as the demo is sponsored or supported by the local SORBA chapter.
3) Spam will be deleted. Any account used for the sole purpose of spam or advertising will be deleted and/or blocked.
4) Posts regarding illegal activities will be deleted. Examples of the most frequently deleted posts are: illegal trail building, poaching trails, underage drinking, illegal drugs or drug use. Posts that reference, or have play on words, that suggest these illegal activities will be edited at a Moderator’s discretion, and the user will be warned. This also applies to users’ avatars and signatures.
5) Posts or posts with links that contain sexual content, *** or highly suggestive/sexual photographs of any kind are not appropriate for this forum and will be deleted. This also applies to users’ avatars and signatures.
6) Language & Profanity Rating is PG-13: We are not aiming for Disney - think more like The Simpson's. In general, you can use a couple of the lighter words a few times. The “filter” will automatically edit most profanity; the mistyping of profane words to go around the filter is discouraged. There is a fine line between humorous and offensive, and the moderators will edit or delete content at their discretion, based on the intent of the message.
7) Conduct towards others: Personal attacks, flaming, slamming of businesses or products, or SORBA chapters is not be permitted and such posts will be edited or deleted. This forum is not a place to vent against persons or groups for any reason, and such behavior will not be tolerated. Discussions should be positive. It you need to say something negative, take it offline. PMs, emails, and chapter meetings are other ways that you can communicate with SORBA and other posters.
'8) Democracy, Censorship & Moderation: This forum is owned by, paid for, and operated by the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association. We welcome you to our forum, but our moderators reserve the right to edit, delete, split, move or otherwise change your posts for reasons not specifically listed above in order to preserve our Forum mission statement. Your right to free speech does not apply here.
9) Moderators should not and will not tolerate harassment via emails, phone calls or offensive PM messages. If someone gets moderated, keep in mind that the decision was carefully made, and the moderators will stand behind the decision and be able to clearly point out why the post was moderated. If a moderator followed the rules, and gets harassed, the person who harassed the moderator will be banned from the forum for one week. We go by the 3-strikes rule before permanently banning a user, but some special people manage to earn permanent bans on their first or second try.
Moderators responsibilities and obligations:
1) Uphold the SORBA forum policy that was officially voted on by the Board on Nov 22, 2008.
2) Remain unbiased, and consistent with regard to locking threads and deleting threads.
3) When an offensive post is made, a Mod should delete it and place it in Quarantine. Most times the offender will be PMed and
told why the post was removed, as a courtesy, but if the post is blatantly offensive, this might not be done.
4) When thread is "marginal" with respect to content, a moderator should post the question in the Private Moderator area of the forum and seek other Mods’ opinions. If the other moderators think the post should stay, then it will be left alone.
5) Posts that are blatant spam/advertising will be deleted without a response.
6) All discussion between moderators shall be kept internal, and should not be discussed with others. In general when a moderator’s action is challenged, a single response can be provided, and should be backed by moderators.