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Old 09-04-2004, 10:55 AM   #1
SkinWalker
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Senate Chambers Rules & Guidelines

Senate Chambers Rules & Guidelines

The Senate Chambers had been a forum at LucasForums now for going on two years as I write this. I've been moderating here nearly since it opened. As new games and movies come out, we get influxes of new members that want to participate in serious discussion and debates along with the gaming discussions and movie trivia, so I thought it appropriate to reiterate the rules and point out some guidelines appropriate to the Senate Chambers.

In general, the Senate Chambers uses the same rule-set as the rest of LucasForums, however, there are some minor differences and emphases as well as some additional guidelines.

The General Rule-Set at LucasForums (matt-windu, 6/24/02) is as follows:

Rules

1. You cannot, in any way, insult (or "flame") someone else on the board. People may not be insulted just because their opinion differs from your own. Flaming includes calling people names, insulting them in any way or saying offensive things to them.

2. Refrain from using excessive profanity in your posts. Basically, let the censor do its job. Don't attempt to undermine it.

3. Spamming is strictly prohibited. Your post needs to contribute to the discussion or the topic.

Spam Details
  • In any discussion board, the continuous posting of messages irrelevant to the topic or discussion is strictly prohibited.
  • You should not consistently be able to look up at your screen and see that the majority of topics or messages on a page were just created or posted by you.
  • To Discuss: To talk about a subject in detail.
  • To Chat: To talk in a light, familiar way. Informal talk. (i.e. one sentence posts such as, "I agree," "ditto," "LOL," etc.)
  • Chatting is considered spamming and will be dealt with accordingly in the Jedi Knight Series and other related boards, but will be tolerated in Yoda's Swamp. Please remember, however, that Yoda's Swamp is for off-topic discussion, not no-topic discussion. Threads that are blatantly spammy in nature or just pure spam will be locked at the staff's discretion.
[/End of Spam Details]

4. The posting of links to sites that contain illegal material and the discussion of where to obtain illegal material (i.e. where to get illegal MP3s, warez, etc.) is prohibited. We reserve the right to edit/delete any thread/post that breaks this rule at our sole discretion.

5. The posting of obscene material is not allowed. (i.e. pornography, violent and disturbing images and/or writings.)

6. Avoid duplicating anybody's nickname, avatar, and/or sig images. Make or find your own. This also applies to people outside our community (i.e. names of people of another community). It is strictly prohibited to impersonate someone else.

7. Threads and posts must be placed in their appropriate forums. See this thread for more details, and be sure to check out the forum description before posting your message in it.

8. Before posting a new topic, do a search to see if there is already a recent thread pertaining to what yours is about. If there is already a post similar to yours, feel free to read it and post a reply, which will bring it to the top. Note that sometimes the search function is disabled, so do your best without it.

9. Be specific in the naming of your topic. This will aid in topic searches and help prevent someone from posting something you already have.

10. You remain solely responsible for the content of your messages, and you agree to indemnify and hold us harmless with respect to any claim based upon transmission of your message(s). We reserve the right to reveal your identity (or whatever information we know about you) in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any message posted by you.

11. You may not register another account under the same IP number. You must also use a valid email address when registering.

12. You may not re-register after receiving a ban.

13. You may not post threads dealing with the amount of posts, post status, or rank you or a fellow member has.

14. Do not hound current moderators or admins. This is namely referring to a past influx of unwanted moderator applications, but also includes nit-picking moderator decisions.


Penalties

Penalties for registering another account under the same IP:
  • The person will be warned, and the extra account(s) will be immediately deleted. If the person recidivates, his/her IP will be banned from the community.

Penalties for spamming, cussing, and flaming:
  • First, the person will receive a public warning in the thread in which the offense occurred.
  • If the person does not comply, he/she will be given a final warning via private message.
  • If the person keeps flaming/cussing/spamming, he/she will be banned.
  • Spamming may also result in the reduction of the user's post count (to 0).

Penalties for stealing:
  • The "victim" (the person whose username/sig/avatar/etc. was stolen) will be contacted by the mods. This person will decide what penalty to enforce. The mods will then see if it's an adequate penalty.

Penalties concerning illegal activities:
  • If the person posted links to ROM sites and/or warez sites, the post will be edited and the person will be warned. If the person does it again, it's a temporary ban.
  • If it's about posting pornography, the user will be permanently banned without warning.

And the most important rule of all: Don't be stupid
It's a good rule that covers a lot of ground.


Differences or Modifications Specific to the Senate Chambers

As pointed out by OnlyOneCanoli (1/9/03), the Senate Chambers was created as it was apparent that Yoda's Swamp was "not always conducive to serious discussions" and debate. Rules here in the Senate Chambers are "enforced to a stricter degree," meaning that there is less tolerance for spam, direct insults (ad hominem remarks), or general silliness such as game-threads.

To quote matt-windu (1/9/03), "Posts with no purpose will be deleted instead of locked, and legitimate threads posted in the wrong forum will be moved to the appropriate place without a redirect."

I direct all members to refer to the posts of matt-windu and OnlyOneCanoli as cited in the references in this post. From here is where I draw on their intent as well as to create a basis for the continued moderation of the Senate Chambers.

In keeping with the intent of the administrators in creating the Senate Chambers, and assuming that with serious discussion comes a bit of intellectual ability, there are also some rules in the LF General Rules-Set that have a different slant here in the Senate Chambers.
  • Spam: I will typically delete spam, that is to say, those posts that add nothing to the discussion of the thread, particularly if they get out of hand. A single, well-intended off-topic post is one thing, but a series of them from one or more users in succession is bad for the overall discussion. The Senate Singularity will be fed. However, as harm is not usually intended, I see no reason to issue specific warnings, though I might mention it in the thread in general sense.
  • "Insults/Flames": this is what's often referred to in debating as ad hominem remarks, comments or attacks. This is a Latin term for to the man, and refers to the tendency to attack the person with whom you disagree rather than the issue itself.

    There also has to be a bit of clarification on what is considered "insulting." One of the reasons why the Senate Chambers was created was because the kinds of topics we discuss here were created much heat in Yoda's Swamp (though very little light) because several people found the topics to be "insulting" to their beliefs, ideals, or worldviews. Topics like, "abortion, gun control, religion, etc." have a way of igniting passions.

    For the purposes of the Senate Chambers, "insulting" or "flaming" will refer to ad hominem remarks and comments as defined above.
  • Flame-Baiting/Trolling: "[D]eliberately angering someone by say, posting flame-bait or acting stupid with the hope that they will respond with a flame. The goal of trolling is to upset people and encourage them to do stupid things. (Kurgan, 8/20/04)" Within the Senate Chambers, this is considered inciting actions designed to solicit ad hominem responses or degrade a discussion to trivial responses rather than intellectual exchanges.
  • Creating New Threads/Topics of Discussion In general, it is sound advice to search the forum and see to what extent, if any, the topic has been discussed. Often it is nice to have a fresh perspective on an old topic, and a new thread might be nice. Then again, sometimes its good to "bump" an old thread with updated or new information.
  • Bumping Threads: this is acceptable, but only if you have new information or an update to offer. "Bumping" in it's negative connotation refers to making a comment with the sole purpose of putting the thread to the top of the list of threads such as "Bump!" But in it's positive mode, bumping can be invaluable if, for instance, a discussion on a Robotic Mission to Mars begins with the launch, then gets "bumped" once the rover arrives on the planet's surface, and discussion continues. A new thread in this instance would also be appropriate, so the "bumper" would need to compare the value of "bumping" with creating a new thread.
  • Quoted Material: This is another departure from the LF General Rules-Set that I'd like to point out. In the Senate Chambers its considered bad form to quote more than you post. Especially if you are quoting a post on the same page and particularly if it is just above your own. Quoting an entire post of several paragraphs, then making a quick line or three in response is the worst.

    Rules of thumb here: quote less than you post; provide a source of the quote (the original poster, link to a site, etc.); and remember that Fair Use is a legal concept, therefore, it's advisable when quoting sites off LucasForums to quote brief, relevant excerpts and leave a link for the reader to find the rest.

Keep in mind, not everything has to be an argument or a debate. Intellectual arguments and serious issues can be discussed without feelings of animosity or discord. You don't have to agree with others to like and respect them. I have had MAJOR disagreements with folks like rccar328, LathanVatail, etc., but I have tremendous respect for their intellect and passion as well as like them for who they are. Even among the mods, I've had disagreements in worldview, but I count these guys as my friends.

Finally, I'll make edits on occasion or delete remarks that are obvious flame-bait, inciting, ad hominem or just plain rude. This is to reduce the likelihood that a flame war will ensue and increase the chances that intellectual discussion will. If you see the following evidence of editing [Flame Removed], consider that an in-thread warning. If this is a consistent problem in your posts, then expect a PM warning. If your PM box is full, expect the warning to be public and in the thread.

Few people get banned from posting in the Senate Chambers, even if they create a minor flame war. But those that have, usually get banned because they do so in other places on LucasForums as well. Most bans that have occurred in the Senate Chambers have been related to senseless spam and a couple of profane, obscene Flamers.

Cheers and happy posting!
SkinWalker


References:

matt-windu (6/24/02). Forum Rules/Code of Conduct. Yodaís Swamp. Post ID 637477, http://www.lucasforums.com/showthrea...threadid=64362

matt-windu (1/9/03). Read! Senate Chambers post ID 981911, http://www.lucasforums.com/showthrea...threadid=89032

OnlyOneCanoli (1/9/03) Read! Senate Chambers: post ID 981948, http://www.lucasforums.com/showthrea...threadid=89032

Kurgan (8/20/04). insert witty revolution-esque title here. SWBattlefront.net > Feedback post ID 1604986, http://www.lucasforums.com/showthrea...86#post1604986


A Hot Cup of Joe - My Blog

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Last edited by SkinWalker; 09-04-2004 at 11:08 AM.
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