Author Topic: Our Guide To Forum Etiquette  (Read 3245 times)

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Our Guide To Forum Etiquette
« on: May 04, 2014, 06:50:12 PM »
OUR GUIDE TO FORUM ETIQUETTE

The purpose of this guide is to provide a reference point for what we, at Royal Insight, consider to be generally acceptable forum behaviour. All users must bear these points in mind when posting across the forum to help us uphold a friendly, open-minded environment.

YOUR REPUTATION, IMAGE AND BEHAVIOUR:

Too often, the anonymity of the internet is exploited. Internet users behave in ways that they would not behave in face to face situations. As forum users we need to employ greater self-awareness and sensitivity to the tone and presentation of our posts. We must not forget that we are talking to real people! We are all participating in a fast-paced environment where we lose the subtle advantages of body language to read intentions. This absence of indicators, which normally helps us to decipher tone and intention, can pose problems.  In the absence of these valuable traits (voice tone, facial expressions, body language and other social cues) the judicious use of emoticons and well considered language can help make tone and intention clear and polite to our fellow forum users. 

Good etiquette shows respect for others.  The anonymous, distant nature of the internet should not encourage a disregard for the importance of mutual respect and good manners. Being curt with someone, offering clipped responses, using abusive or derogatory language to demean a fellow user or their opinions or showcasing bigotry, vulgarity, racism or profanity should not be considered acceptable behaviour. Remember: you may be anonymous but every post you make contributes to your online reputation and image. Don’t do yourself a disservice by behaving otherwise to how you would behave in face-to-face situations.

Royal Insight is a liberal and progressive platform to discuss a diverse array of opinions on monarchy, its alternatives, associated ideologies and culture. No one opinion is “right” or “wrong” and debates which aim to prove or disprove another’s point of view, be it ideological, cultural or otherwise, is futile. If we lived in a world where every system and ideology was perfect for everyone we’d have no need for forums or platforms for debating difference!  It’s far better to embrace the freedom that a forum offers to openly share in different perspectives and values.

Most importantly: have a sense of humour and try not to take things too seriously. The forum should be enjoyable for everyone and even the most controversial and serious of topics can be explored with a light heart.

CRITIQUING POSTS:

The forum invites critiques from members on an array of topics and public figures.  This is a wonderful learning tool if handled properly. But remember, criticism must tread a fine line. If criticism is aggressive, belittling or dismissive of alternative opinions it may dissuaded people from sharing their thoughts.  Equally, if criticism is dishonest or intentionally biased it works against truth and no one will learn. Both extremes defeat the purpose of the forum.

If you are being critiqued: do not take the criticism personally. It is opinions and ideas that are being critiqued, not you personally. With all criticism, evaluate it objectively and decide if you can use it to further a discussion.  If you can't, then put it totally out of your mind. 

It's tempting to revisit controversial decisions you disagree with, but it's rarely productive to do so. Consider simply agreeing to disagree and move on.

Absolutely no personal attacks under any circumstances. Do not feel compelled to defend your honour in public. Egos should not punctuate forum conversations. Posts containing personal attacks will be removed and may result in an account being suspended.

ETIQUETTE IN THREADS:

Do not “hijack” threads by disrupting a current line of discussion amongst members.  Interrupting the course of a discussion by breaking it up with sequential links to articles or raising a divergent topic for discussion is in poor form. If you’d like to discuss a different issue or post a stream of links to new articles, it’s best to start a new thread.
 
Never target a fellow forum participant with derogatory, belittling, aggressive or personal remarks.  You may not agree with their opinion, but that does not permit you to behave inappropriately towards them. 

If a user has a problem that they’d like to address with another individual, it’s best to discuss the issue off-forum rather than in the public setting.  All differences should be worked out politely and respectfully.   

Never make derogatory remarks about the forum, its staff or formal editing decisions on the public boards. We invite feedback from all our users however, this needs to be done via the private messaging system or the report functions. And please remember, there’s a fine line between constructive and non-constructive criticism.

Use caps, repeated punctuation and excessive emoticons judiciously.  Caps and exclamations marks are the equivalent of yelling at someone!  Avoid typing in caps, bold or strong colours unless it serves a polite and constructive purpose.

Remember: signature and avatar spaces (including text, images and links) are subject to the forum's rules and guidelines.  These spaces may be edited at the staffs discretion if they are deemed to break or tread the line of our rules and etiquette guide.

DEALING WITH A VIOLATION AS A USER

Scenario: You're minding your own business reading a thread or scrolling down the Recent Topics list and you come across what looks like spam, a troll, flaming, off-topic discussion etc. What do you, as a user, do?

The answer: Don't get involved. Involving yourself in a violation results in both a continuance of the violation and the possibility that you might end up violating the forum guidelines too. Above each user's post, there is a small button that says "Report." If there aren't any moderators around, go ahead and click it. The team will deal with the matter as swiftly as possible.

ADMINISTRATORS AND MODERATORS

We’re here to help…
We’re all approachable and we’re here to keep the forum a safe and enjoyable place for everyone, today and into the future;

• Respect the decisions of the team; they have been made objectively to uphold the forums’ policies and protect the experiences of our users;
• Do not publicize private conversations between yourself and staff or fellow users. It’s only polite to uphold discretion.
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
-Winston Churchil
 


 

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