B. General Guidelines
The following guidelines establish the permissions and restrictions of forum members, moderators, and administrators, as far as it affects them in their day-to-day use of the forum:
(1) Administrators and Moderators
The fundamental difference between and functions of GIRLTalk administrators and moderators are described below:
a. Administrators are tasked with the operational security and management of the GIRLTalk forums and serve as the official mouthpieces for the Female Network team. They do not, except in extreme or unusual circumstances, enforce the rules upon members or arbitrate between issues unless formal inquiries and complaints are lodged about the site, forums, or moderators.
The FN_Administrator account serves as the venue for administrators to disseminate official information; FN_AdminName accounts (where AdminName represents the administrator’s handle) may provide updates or answer raised issues as necessary.
Posts from accounts other than those mentioned above that appear to have information about internal FN operations, discussions, and personnel are considered unofficial, and members are advised to seek confirmation from official avenues before acting on these. Administrators reserve the right to delete or edit any such posts.
b. Global moderators are tasked with the day-to-day management of the GIRLTalk forums, which includes enforcing the rules and guidelines. They also serve as official representatives of the
GIRLTalk community and arbitrators between dissenting forum members should the need arise. They answer or act upon inquiries, comments, and complaints lodged in response to posts, private messages, and/or forum members.
c. Board moderators are tasked with managing the particular boards they have been given purview of. This includes, to some extent, enforcing the rules and guidelines, but for the most part involves moderating the discussions within the board—splitting or merging threads, offering reminders for unruly posters, etc.
(2) New Threads and Replies
New threads can only be created by members with the acceptable permissions. These may be related to the particular forum one is posting in and/or the member’s forum ranking or special permissions.
Replies can, for the most part, be posted by any individual, regardless of forum ranking, with the exception of special permission levels that may be set for certain boards (e.g., the For Sale boards).
Replies should be relevant to the discussion. Off-topic replies may be split into other threads.
Replies that are off-topic and do not provide any value to the conversation may be deleted outright.
All posts are to be composed in good faith, such that no offense was intended for other members and they, as far as the poster is aware, comply with the rules and guidelines of this forum.
When posting on a particular message board, please take note of the following board labels and what they mean:
Note: This board is Read-Only.
Topics in these boards are created by the forum staff for your information only. All posting by regular members is disabled.
Note: Only staff members may start topics on this board.
Topics in these boards are created by the forum staff. Regular members can only posts replies.
Note: Posting to this board does not raise your post count.
This label signifies that the board does not count your posts. For more information on post counts and GIRLTalk rankings, please see Art. IV Section G.
Note: Replies disabled.
This label signifies the board allows you to post topics but not to reply to existing posts.
Note: GUYTalkers and topic starters may reply. (On board We've Got Male)
This is a special-permissions board in which regular members (not newbie) can create topics, but can reply only to their own topics. Only male community members who belong in the GUYTalker group can reply to all topics. To apply for GUYTalker membership, visit this article: Calling Male GIRLTalkers! Sign Up for GUYTalker group membership here!
Note: Posting disabled for Newbie group. (On board Sex Matters)
This is a special-permissions board wherein only regular members with 30 posts and above may post.
(3) Private Messages
Private messages (PMs) allow members more leeway with regard to the language they can use and the extent of personal information revealed in the content they send out. However, members should always keep our guidelines regarding personal security in mind and should send messages in good faith—without intent to offend or harm others and, to their best of their knowledge, not in violation of any of our forum rules and guidelines.
Members are encouraged to report other members who send them private messages that are offensive or can be considered spam or harassment.
Members may receive private messages from other members they may not have interacted with in the past; this is allowed as long as the messages do not violate the rules or guidelines of the GIRLTalk forums or contain rude or offensive comments. It left to the recipient’s discretion whether or not to reply to such PMs.
(4) Signatures and Avatars
While members are permitted to personalize the text content of their forum signatures, they must obey the following restrictions:
a. Signatures cannot be used to advertise, promote, sell, or solicit time, money, earning opportunity, or referrals—links to personal selling sites are permissible but spiels, slogans, or written solicitations are prohibited.
b. Signatures may not be used to link to unsafe or pornographic websites
c. Personal information such as email addresses, phone numbers, full names, etc., should not be included within the signature text.
d. Images should not be inserted into the signature content.
e. Signatures should not encourage members to visit sites or communities in direct competition or conflict with any Summit Media website or magazine.
Failure to comply with the guidelines above will merit the following penalties (equivalent to Category 4):
a. First offense: The member is issued a warning, and the offending signature is removed from his or her profile.
b. Second offense: The member is issued a warning, the offending signature is removed from his or her profile, and the member is muted for a period not longer than two (2) weeks.
c. Third offense: The offending signature is removed from the member’s profile, and his or her account is temporarily banned for a period no longer than one (1) month.
d. Fourth offense: The offending signature is removed from the member’s profile, and his or her account is permanently banned.
(5) Muted or Banned Accounts
Muting an account should last for no longer than two (2) weeks. The moderator overseeing the case has the prerogative to exercise his or her judgment in assigning the length of time an account is muted
(e.g., he or she can set this to a few days or to the full two weeks if the situation warrants it).
There are two types of bans—temporary and permanent—and neither should be taken lightly.
Temporary bans can be set for no longer than one (1) month. The moderator overseeing the case has the prerogative to exercise his or her judgment in assigning the length of time an account is banned (e.g., he or she can set this to a few days or to the full four weeks if the situation warrants it).
Permanent bans last indefinitely unless the user is able to successfully petition for his or her reinstatement. This requires an e-mail to the community editor and/or administrators in defense of him or herself or an admission of wrongdoing, an apology, and a promise to adhere to forum guidelines in the future.
If the ban is deemed invalid by the community editor or administrators, the member’s account can be reinstated. If the ban is deemed valid but the member’s admission of wrongdoing, apology to the offended parties, and promise of good behavior is accepted, the ban can be reduced to a temporary ban of one (1) month after the offense or two (2) weeks after the petition ruling, whichever is the longer period.