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The Soap Opera Why The Fuck Was My Post Moved & Other Stories

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Old 02-01-2009, 09:41 PM   #369652  /  #1
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Exclamation TalkRational! Rules, Procedures, and Guidelines

Posting Rules & Guidelines

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Staffing Procedures
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Recall Procedures
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Member Discussions/Sanctions Procedures

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Other
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Last edited by ksen; 03-13-2014 at 01:38 PM. Reason: added link to Appeal Procedure
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:45 PM   #369655  /  #2
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Default

The Talk Rational Charter

This charter is a collection of principles limiting what rules and procedures can be made.
Rules, procedures and interpretations of rules may not contradict any part of this charter.


1) Alterations

(1.1) Changes to this charter must be ratified by member vote.
(1.2) Adding, removing, or changing of text in the charter requires a 75% majority.
(1.3) Charter revision polls must remain open for at least 2 weeks, and may remain open longer if member participation is low.
(1.4) No change to the charter, the rules, or the procedures may take effect retroactively.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009

2) Board Policy Decisions

(2.1) Town Hall is for policy discussion and member concerns and cannot be shut down.
(2.2) Members who are not suspended/banned from the entire board may always participate in Town Hall.
(2.3) Member input and consultation will be solicited for policy discussions and decisions.
(2.4) Policy (including rule and procedure changes) must be made by public staff vote.
(2.5) Individual staff voting records may not be hidden.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009

(3) Posting Standards

(3.1) All forums will display individual rules for tolerance of insults.
(3.2) Members are expected to post according to the rules of the forum.
(3.3) Posts outside this tolerance may be moved.
(3.4) Members have the right to be protected from harassment.
(3.5) Posts will not be moved for swearing.
(3.6) Posts will only be edited or deleted to remove duplicate posts, spam, malicious code or links to malicious code, illegal content, and members' personal data not posted with their explicit permission. Members may request for staff to edit/delete their own posts after the 120-minute edit period expires, but the integrity of the thread will take precedence.
(3.7) Personal data that will be removed automatically includes telephone numbers, home addresses, IP addresses, and financial account information, including social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc. Also, personal information that has explicitly been given the no-go by a member in the past will be deleted automatically. Other types of personal information may be deleted or edited at the request of the person the info belongs to.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009.

(4) Moderators

(4.1) New Moderators must be chosen by both members and existing staff.
(4.2) Moderators primarily moderate within their allotted forum/fora, but may moderate in other fora on a short-term basis if needed.
(4.3) Moderators may be recalled at any time by public vote of members or staff. Recall votes may not be prevented.
(4.4) Moderators talk to members and edit threads to ensure discussion stays within the rules for their forum or is moved to a suitable forum.
(4.5) Moderators must post to indicate when they have taken action.
(4.6) Moderators may give emergency bans to spammers.
(4.7) Moderators refer handling of disruptive members (see 7.1) to the Administrators.
(4.8) Moderators monitor the Post Reports and Private Feedback forum and respond to threads concerning their fora.
(4.9) Moderators participate in staff forum threads relevant to their assigned responsibilities.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009

(5) Sys-Admins

(5.1) Sys-Admins are selected by staff for technical ability.
(5.2) Sys-Admins may not simultaneously serve as Treasurer, own the hosted server account, own the message board software license, or own the domain name.
(5.3) Sys-Admins are responsible for board software and data.
(5.4) Sys-Admins may ban abusive posters as described in section 7.4.
(5.5) Sys-Admins have no other administrative duties.
(5.6) Sys-Admins may vote in full-staff votes but not in Administrator votes.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009

(6) Administrators

(6.1) New Administrators must be approved via vote by both members and existing staff.
(6.2) Administrators may be recalled at any time by public vote of members or staff.
(6.3) Recall votes may not be prevented.
(6.4) Administrators check IPs to identify sock-puppets or duplicate accounts.
(6.5) Administrators may overturn Moderator actions after member complaint.
(6.6) Administrators ensure forums have adequate staff.
(6.7) Administrators remove moderators who cannot perform their duties.
(6.8) Administrators moderate the Town Hall, and may request moderators to assist.
(6.9) Administrators may help moderate other forums on a short term basis if needed.
(6.10) Administrators may ban or suspend members as outlined in Section 7.
(6.11) Administrators ensure appeals take place when requested and as required in Section 7.
(6.12) Administrators add, change, and remove forums and do other configuration required to tailor the message board.
(6.13) Administrators participate in relevant threads in the staff fora.


Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009

(7) Bans, Suspensions and Appeals

(7.1) "Disruptive members" are those who repeatedly break board-wide rules, or who repeatedly behave in a way that the Administrators consider harmful to the board and/or its members.
(7.2) "Bans" remove the ability of a member to see any TR content while logged on. "Suspensions" may allow a member to view all TR content available to members, but prevents posting or editing some or all content.
(7.3) Administrators may suspend disruptive members from one or more forums and/or elements of board functionality (but see 2.3).
(7.4) Spammers, sock-puppets of banned or suspended members, and posters of malicious code or links may be banned unilaterally and instantly.
(7.5) All other suspensions require a majority vote of Administrators.
(7.6) Suspensions longer than one week require the Administrators to liaise with the member beforehand with the aim of reaching another solution. Bans are permanent. Suspensions are temporary or indefinite.
(7.7) Suspensions longer than one week may be appealed, with the appeal being judged by one or more non-staff members.
(7.8) The result of an appeal may be a ratification, overturn, or modification of the imposed suspension.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009.

(8) Finances

(8.1) A Treasurer and Secretary are selected by unanimous Administrator approval and ratified by member vote.
(8.2) The owners of the talkrational.org vbulletin license, hosted server account and domain name may be any member in good standing, including staff other than the Sys-admins. However, the Treasurer may not simultaneously serve as a Sys-Admin, own the hosted server account, own the message board software license, or own the domain name.
(8.3) The Treasurer, Secretary, and owners of the hosted server account, license, and domain name must provide real-world names and addresses to the Administrators.
(8.4) The Treasurer has sole access to maintain and manage the TR bank account and Paypal/credit/debit card, and provides statements to the Secretary.
(8.5) The Secretary verifies the statements and audit trail.
(8.6) These two officers are responsible to provide a transparent record of the account, donations, and expense to members.
(8.7) With the Administrators, these two officers are responsible for determining the need for donation drives and for running such drives.
(8.8) Expenses not directly related to the running of the board must be approved by unanimous Administrator vote and announced to the members.

Ratification Poll. Revised July 30, 2009.

Last edited by ksen; 08-14-2013 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Fixed typo in 1.3 "participaton" to "participation"
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:56 PM   #369661  /  #3
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Default Posting and moderation standards (including harassment and insult rules)

Posting and moderation at TR:

TR generally takes a laid-back approach to moderation. Violations of the insult rules below may be moved to The Charred Remains. Other insults and "trolling" are not against the rules. However, if they disrupt the discussion, they can be moved to The Quizalufagus Heap. Introductions and The Rats Nest are moderated more strictly for insults. The Town Hall forums are moderated more strictly for derails.

Harassment:

  • Do not harass other members. This includes willful and repeated and unwanted targeting of another member in posts, threads, private messages, signatures, avatars, or in member profiles and comments.
Insults:
  • Do not tell someone that you would like them to die or harm to come to them.
  • Do not make derogatory comments about a member's sexuality, appearance, ethnicity, gender, mental or physical condition. .
  • Do not make derogatory comments about a member's family or loved ones.
Note: comments that roughly match the above three descriptions are not automatically considered insults. Moderators take the thread context and member histories into consideration. Comments that appear somewhat generic may or may not be moderated unless the frequency is excessive. Comments that appear targeted to a member's known personal and family attributes are much more likely to be moderated.

Boardwide insult rule violations may be moderated in a number of ways, including in-thread moderator notes, moving derails to a new thread, moving selected posts to The Charred Remains, etc.

Other forms of communication (e.g. user titles, signatures, tags, comments, PMs)
  • All methods of communication at TR other than posts will be treated according to strict standards. Signatures, comments, custom titles, etc., may not contain direct insults to another member (liar, stupid, troll, bastard, etc.) and may not imply that another member is unwelcome
Signature guidelines:
  • No more than 5 lines of size 2 text.
  • images no taller than 120 px (approximately the height of 5 lines of size 2 text)
  • must be SFW
  • All other rule breaking in sigs will be treated according to the rules for posts.
  • Sigs that are excessively distracting due to animation or bandwidth-hogging may be removed.
Personal information:
  • Do not post other members' personal information (see the Charter for details).

updated on 9/7/2011 per this poll.

Last edited by ravenscape; 09-07-2011 at 02:38 PM. Reason: major update per http://talkrational.org/showthread.php?t=42156
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:08 PM   #369671  /  #4
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Default List of Forums and the Insult/Derail Categories that Apply

insult/derail categories are now obsolete. check the posting and moderation standards for info on the handling of insults and derails.

Last edited by ravenscape; 11-15-2011 at 07:38 PM. Reason: update
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:13 PM   #369676  /  #5
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Default Rule on Posting Copyrighted Material or Other Illegal Content

Rule:
Do not post content that violates copyright law or is otherwise illegal.


Principle:
Members should not do anything that places anyone at TR at undue risk of criminal or civil legal action. Note that copyright violations place the site at legal risk. If a member is unsure of whether or not material falls within fair use limits, a staff member should be contacted prior to posting.

Links to warez sites and other sites that contain content that violates U.S. law, where our server is located, are also not permitted and will be removed.

Example:
In general, all material authored in the last 75 years should be considered under copyright protection unless the source indicates otherwise. Fair use limits generally permit posting of short extracts for the purpose of analysis, critique and/or discussion.

Do not post more than than a short extract of a copyrighted document or text unless the source document or site specifically grant permission to copy larger segments.

If the copyright agreement is more restrictive than general fair use guidelines, follow the copyright agreement of the site.

Include a citation with the copy/pasted material (a link will suffice in most cases).

Do not post links to illegally downloadable pirated copyrighted material.


Caveat:
Compliance with TR rules is determined by the staff in accordance with the principle of the rule. Individual rulings may override the exact letter of the example, so long as the stated principle is upheld.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:18 PM   #369680  /  #6
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Default Election Procedure for Admins

  1. The admins may decide that one or more new admins are required.
  2. All members, including current and former staff, may nominate themselves for election.
  3. A poll is started in the Town Hall with one option for each of the candidates, including a "none of the above" dummy candidate.
  4. After one week of voting the top candidate(s) are chosen to fill the vacancies.
  5. Candidates polling higher than the "none of the above" candidate may be returned as admins.
  6. Candidates may only be returned as admins to the limit of the number of admins required.
  7. If the number of candidates polling higher than "none of the above" is insufficient the procedure is restarted, or a temporary admin is elected, or both.
  8. Staff may veto the winning candidate(s) by majority vote if they deem the candidate(s) unsuitable.

Last edited by ravenscape; 08-10-2009 at 05:52 PM. Reason: admin eligibility updated per the revised charter
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:21 PM   #369683  /  #7
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Default Election Procedure for Temporary Admins

  1. In the case of inadequate admin cover due to illness/extended leave the admins may request additional admin cover to fill the admin slots up to the normal level.
  2. The admins decide on a candidate and then put that candidate to staff vote, also clearly outlining the time in which the temp-admin is in place.
  3. This procedure may not be used to bolster admins above the normal level, so if a temp admin increases numbers above the normal level after a rotation period, they are automatically stepped down.
  4. The temp admin may behave as a normal admin, and is also subject to member recalls.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:24 PM   #369686  /  #8
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Default Selection Procedure for Moderators

  1. Admins may decide one or more new moderators are needed for a particular forum.
  2. A thread is started in the relevant forum. with a one week time limit. Members then use this thread to suggest candidates.
  3. Candidates may include active staff (i.e., who moderate other forums already).
  4. In the case of the debate forum, the thread is placed in The Soapbox forum.
  5. Admins check that all nominated candidates are willing to serve.
  6. Admins select the candidate(s) who have the most in-forum support in their judgment, with any discussion taking place in the Admin Open Discussion forum or the Staff Discussion forum. A "none of the above" verdict is allowed.
  7. If, in the admins' judgment, fewer candidates have any forum support than there are positions, those selected are appointed and the procedure is restarted to fill any remaining positions.
  8. Staff may veto the winning candidate(s) by majority vote if they deem the selected candidate(s) unsuitable.

Last edited by ravenscape; 10-27-2010 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:32 PM   #369689  /  #9
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Default Recall Procedure for All Staff

1. The member making the recall is responsible for starting the thread with his reasons for the recall, and immediately adding a poll. The poll must conform to the recall poll template1 or the recall will be considered void and be closed. The recall initiator can then create a new thread that conforms to the template.

2. The poll will remain open for at least three days. If at least 252 votes are cast in that time, then the recall goes into the final 7 day stage. An administrator will add a notice about the recall to the top of the forum page3. After 7 days, the poll closes, and an admin will post the results.

3. In order for a recall to succeed, the yes votes must exceed the number of no votes.

1Poll Title: Should <moderator name> be recalled from staff?
Option 1 - Yes, <moderator name> should be recalled from staff.
Option 2 - No, <moderator name> should not be recalled from staff.
Option 3 - Abstain.

2This may be reduced to 20 later if 25 appears to be too great a hurdle.
3Use the new notice option that displays the poll notice until the member votes.

Last edited by ravenscape; 06-09-2011 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:43 PM   #369695  /  #10
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Default Emergency Recall Procedure

  1. In the case where an emergency recall is warranted (for example an account becomes compromised or a staff member is inactive for a month or more) the admins have the power to remove staff status from any member of staff.
  2. The Sanctions procedure is followed, outlining the recall.
  3. Conditions may be added which allow automatic re-staffing (e.g., a hacked account is re-secured).
  4. The staff member has their staff status removed.
  5. If a member disagrees with the recall they may start a veto poll, using the same procedure as outlined in the Recall procedure above except that they do not have to state a reason - the veto poll may be based solely on rejection of the administrator justification. Three seconders are required; however, in the case of this motion failing, it has no effect on any member's rights to initiate a staff recall or a veto poll on any other emergency recall.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:47 PM   #369697  /  #11
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Default Member Discussions Procedure

  1. Any moderator who sees a persistent problem with a member starts a thread in the Post Reports and Private Feedback forum, to which staff and the member will have read and write access.
  2. The thread's title is to be the member's username.
  3. The staff member explains their view of the problem in the thread OP.
  4. The staff member sends a PM to the member, informing them of the existence of the Post Reports and Private Feedback thread and including a link.
  5. The member can, at any time, request that the entire thread be moved to The Floor Is Yours forum.
  6. Staff use the thread to discuss the member. The member may or may not choose to contribute to that discussion.
  7. If the problem cannot be resolved by discussion, the Admins may choose to vote (in the thread, rather than in a separate poll) to warn the member that if the problem persists then they will be suspended.
  8. A warning shall not be a "one strike" warning of indefinite duration.
  9. No warning or suspension will be given without this discussion, except for "emergency sanctions" as defined elsewhere.
  10. If a warning has already been given and the problem has persisted, the Admins may vote to suspend the member from one or more forums for a period of time.
  11. If this is the case, then the Admins follow the Member Sanctions Procedure.

Last edited by ravenscape; 06-10-2011 at 01:57 PM. Reason: update forum name(s)
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:51 PM   #369698  /  #12
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Default Member Sanctions Procedure

  1. If the administrators decide a sanction is to be implemented, after imposing the sanction they make a thread in The Floor Is Yours forum.
  2. The thread must contain justification and evidence for the sanction, including dated copies of any formal warnings previously given.
  3. A link to the thread is placed in the ban/suspension thread in The Soap Opera forum, with a brief, formally-worded description of the reason for the sanction(s).

Last edited by ravenscape; 06-10-2011 at 01:58 PM. Reason: update forum name(s)
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:56 PM   #369706  /  #13
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Default Rescinding Sanctions Procedure

  1. If the Admins rescind a sanction a locked thread is created in The Floor Is Yours forum.
  2. This thread must detail the reasons for rescinding and may not be edited.
  3. The implementation post in the ban/suspension thread in The Soap Opera forum is clearly appended to note that the sanction has been reversed.
  4. The sanction is then considered to be annulled and does not count on any kind of "record" for the member.

Last edited by ravenscape; 06-10-2011 at 01:59 PM. Reason: update forum name(s)
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:05 PM   #369715  /  #14
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Default Emergency Sanctions Procedure

Administrative Rule


Admins may restrict posting permissions under emergency conditions, but must follow up with normal procedures when established members are affected. Emergency conditions may included but are not necessarily limited to:
  • Spam, or any other drive-by posts
  • Malware code or links, including attempts to disrupt the board software
  • Sock puppet accounts being used to troll the board or otherwise create disruption
  • Porn/violent images or other content posted for shock value


Procedure

In cases where egregious posts are made by a non-established member:
  1. A single admin may temporarily bypass the Member Discussions Procedure by imposing a sanction immediately.
  2. The Member Sanction procedure is still followed.

In cases where egregious posts are made by an established member:
  1. A single admin may temporarily bypass the Member Discussion Procedure by imposing a sanction immediately.
  2. Once the posts have been dealt with and the sanctioned member has agreed to cease posting in a disruptive manner, the sanctioned member's access is restored to normal levels.
  3. The Member Discussions Procedure is followed.
  4. The Member Sanctions Procedure need not apply, unless the sanctioned member refuses to cease posting in a disruptive manner.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:16 AM   #2332280  /  #15
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Default Appeal Procedure

If a suspended member requests an appeal:
  • A randomly chosen panel of 5 members with at least 30 posts, who have posted in the last 30 days will hear the appeal.
  • The appellant and the admins collectively each have the right to veto one member and replace him/her with a randomly drawn substitute.
  • The panel should be assembled as soon as is is practicable.
  • The panel can ask questions of the appellant and the admins, and make a decision whether to uphold, overturn, or shorten the suspension.

Voted by staff majority, 13th March 2014.
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