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Board rules

These rules are disclosed to clarify the various responsibilities of all community members here on Orange County Forums. They shall be adhered to by everyone to ensure that our board runs smoothly and provides a fun and productive experience for all of our community members and visitors.

  1. The Rules

    1. Anyone can read messages but only registered users can post. You'll need to provide a valid e-mail address to register. Only the administrators will have access to your address and we'll probably never have any reason to even look at it except under very unusual circumstances when we might need to contact you. It will never be revealed to other users, sold or used for any marketing purposes.

      NOTICE: As an anti-spam measure, newly registered members' posts must be approved by a moderator before appearing on the forum. Patience. #
    2. These boards are open and viewable by anyone or anything that happens by. Posting your real name, address, phone number or e-mail address isn't recommended. Posting other people's personal information without their express permission is strictly forbidden. This is a breach of the site's Privacy Policy and will not be tolerated. #
    3. You are solely responsible for anything you post here. Do not post material that violates copyright, trademark or other intellectual property rights of others. Do not post material that would be considered threatening, abusive, libellous, intrusive, vulgar or obscene by normal community standards. A word censor was instituted because of excessive use of vulgar language. Do not try to "fool" it by changing the spelling. Use common sense. If you wouldn't say it to your mother, don't say it here. #
    4. Avoid posting derogatory, hurtful or insulting comments about other users. Remember that people who don't agree with you aren't idiots; they just don't agree with you. Show consideration for your fellow members. Argue the post and not the poster. Any post, image, signature or avatar, determined by board staff to be meant to demean or insult another member will be considered to be in violation of this section. #
    5. Complaints and criticism of the board, its software or its staff are ONLY to be discussed by Personal Message, e-mail or in the Board Business Forum. Any discussion of these issues anywhere else is disruptive to conversations and is subject to removal. #
    6. We define "trolling" as posting deliberately provocative messages with the intent of disrupting conversations, starting arguments or irritating, inflaming or insulting other members. Please do not respond to trolls; report them. #
    7. We try to keep objectionable material out of the forums but we can't monitor every post or every thread. We prefer that the users police the boards themselves but if a post requires our attention, please let us know. We take no responsibility for anything posted here but we will do our best to edit, delete, move or close posts or threads that we, in our sole judgement, find inappropriate or objectionable. Users who repeatedly or grossly violate any of these rules are subject to being banned, blocked from posting and/or having any or all of their posts removed from the boards, with or without prior warning. #
    8. Any user names created to impersonate other users will be deleted along with all posts made under that name. Violations could result in the offending user having any or all of his/her other nicks - and posts - deleted.

      User names are not to be shared with other users. Violations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, since there could be allowable exceptions as in the case of family members. Sharing a name with a user who was previously banned is strictly forbidden and will result in banishment under all of the member's user names and IP numbers. #
    9. Spam, defined as - but not limited to - advertising, solicitation or promotion of any business, product, website or other entity will not be tolerated and will be removed as quickly as possible. If you would like to advertise on the site, please contact us. Unsolicited advertising will be considered as theft of our web space. #
    10. Signature links are allowed but because of abuse, they're limited to one per person. Avoid overly spammy language (i.e. "The best wart remover known to man!") and please don't abuse the courtesy. Link spam detracts from the site's search engine rankings and is not tolerated. #
  2. Warnings and Suspensions

    1. Warnings are issued for Rule violations. Moderators' warnings are subject to review but warnings from the Administrator are not. All warnings stay active for 90 days. Gross violations may result in more severe penalties, including suspension or banning, and will be judged on a case-by-case basis. #
    2. When a person has 3 active warnings, he will be suspended for 1 day. If his total reaches 4, he'll be suspended for a week and 5 active warnings will earn a month's suspension. There are no exceptions. Suspensions will not be reconsidered and the term will not be shortened, so don't even ask. #
  3. Posting Guidelines

    1. Post smart. Remember to make your posts thoughtful and always try to invite good discussion. Try to stay on topic and do not make posts that don't contribute to the discussion. Posting a news story doesn't invite discussion; posting your opinion of the story does. #
    2. A link is not a post. Posts that are only links will be deleted. Posts that require the reader to click a link to understand them will be deleted or have the link removed. Two reasons for this: 1. Google counts those as spam and/or posts with no content and takes reputation points away from the site; 2. only one person in ten will click the link and the other nine will have no idea what your point is and the thread will generally die. This is especially true of opening posts. Journalists use the Five W's - Who, What, When, Where, Why - as a guideline. A good opening post should cover at least four of them if you expect anyone to reply. Links should only be used to give credit or for documentation, reference or further reading. They should NEVER be used to make you point because they won't.

      The same goes for videos. People aren't going to watch a video from a source they don't like and people on phones aren't going to watch much of anything. The exception to this rule is videos that are only meant for entertainment, but a good introduction will always help "sell" your post. #
    3. Use accurate, descriptive titles. Try to give readers an accurate description of what your thread is about. Using a descriptive title encourages people to read your thread and helps to avoid duplication. You are allowed 70 characters for thread titles. Check the title box and use the Preview button to make sure your title isn't cut off. Do not use all capital letters in thread titles. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to your title being changed by a moderator. #
    4. Check to see if a thread on your subject already exists. Scan the board or use the search function. Please don't respond to duplicate threads. Duplicates and any replies to them are subject to being deleted. #
    5. Only use the Quote button when necessary. And then trim out all but the part of the post you're replying to. Unnecessary quoting makes threads harder to follow, and especially on mobile devices, makes pages take longer to load and causes unnecessary scrolling. NEVER change the wording of a quote and don't reply within a quote. This makes it very difficult for anyone to quote you and is sure to kill the discussion. #
    6. Do not overuse emoticons. Smilies are meant as a quick way of conveying an emotion or clarifying the meaning of a post. They're not substitutes for words. One is plenty. Using whole strings of them is annoying and could result in your post being deleted. #
    7. Always remember that an internet forum isn't private. Anyone here can read and respond to your posts. Anyone with an internet connection can read them. You're posting on a public website - post accordingly. #
    8. Remember that you're a guest in somebody else's house. Don't make a pest of yourself. Just like in real life, unwanted guests can be shown the door. #