F. Language and Behavior
GIRLTalkers are encouraged to keep the member profile in mind when participating in the forum; as a result, language and behavior should reflect an open-minded and tolerant attitude. The following guidelines were established to promote a casual but helpful atmosphere and improve readability of all posts on the forum.
(1) Text Speak
Text speak is not permitted on the forum. It is automatically corrected with the (textspeak!) sign. The member whose post contains the automatic correction is advised to edit his or her post to show the word he or she originally intended. This is a Category 1 offense.
(2) All Caps and Sticky Caps
To promote the readability of all posts in the GIRLTalk forum, the use of all caps or sticky caps (use of alternating lowercase and capitalized letters) is prohibited. Using all caps for emphasis of single
words or short phrases is permissible (though italics are preferred) but full sentences or long phrases are not. This is a Category 1 offense.
(3) Cursing or Inappropriate Language
GIRLTalk discussions are meant to be as civil as possible: although differences of opinion are inevitable, there is no call for resorting to profanity, name-calling, or other offensive language in
posts or private message. Most common curse words are automatically censored; others are censored manually by moderators. This is a Category 2 offense.
(4) Personal Attacks: Flaming or Trolling or Baiting
Baiting refers to deliberately or intentionally annoying/taunting someone into making a retort which then results to a potential “flame war” within the thread.
Flaming refers to online arguments that include personal attacks rather than arguing points; these attacks may include pointless, hurtful, and/or prejudicial messages against a party or parties involved
in the discussion and their particular lifestyles, choices, or beliefs. Regardless of who starts the flaming, all of those who participate in it on forum discussion threads will be treated on an equal level as Category 3 offenders.
To avoid instances of flaming, forum members are encouraged to remember that:
a. Disagreements should be focused on the subject at hand and not each other as individuals.
b. They should not take a difference of opinion as a personal affront.
c. GIRLTalkers come from different backgrounds and orientations and have a right to their own opinions and beliefs.
d. They can always walk away or take the time to cool off before responding toward a post that offends them.
e. They always have the option of reporting flamers instead of descending to their level.
f. Private discussions should be conducted via private messaging rather than message boards.
Trolling refers to intentionally antagonizing members or moderators of the GIRLTalk community, which normally includes unprovoked sarcastic or offensive remarks about individuals or groups and their lifestyles, choices, or beliefs. Trolling is prohibited on the GIRLTalk forums, via post or private message, and is treated as a Category 4 offense.
TIPS TO AVOID THE SAID OFFENSES:
a. Be careful with the choice of words. While GIRLTalkers are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, there is a way of stating said opinion or belief in a way which will not be misconstrued by other members as flaming or baiting or trolling. The tone and choice of words used highly reflects the way your post will be understood by other members.
b. There is no need to be sarcastic or rude to other members simply because they oppose what you have in mind. Keep in mind that this is a forum, and there is no need to force other members to take your side or the other for that matter.
c. Making side comments about the way you are moderated by the moderators or the administrators anywhere in the forum shall be deemed as antagonizing the mods and admins and is a Category 4 offense. Should you have issues about the sanctions given you by any moderator or admin, you may send a PM to that moderator or admin; if this is not resolved between you, you may e-mail a detailed accounting of your concern to webmaster[at]femalenetwork.com.
d. When a post garners a number of five reports for baiting / flaming / trolling from other members, the said reported member is automatically given a warning and shall be required to revise / delete said post within 48 hours of receipt of warning. Failure to do so will automatically earn the highest category sanction listed for this offense.
(5) Harassment and/or Solicitation of Sex
A GIRLTalker’s right to say no or “enough is enough” is of paramount importance. Thus, harassment, such that warrants reporting, will not be tolerated from members. Once a member asks another member to stop contacting him or her or behaving in an offensive way on the forum threads, this should be respected. Failure to do so is a Category 4 offense.
Bullying will also be considered harassment, and incidents involving this will be treated accordingly.
Under no circumstances is the solicitation of sex allowed through forum posts or private messages. This is a Category 5 offense.