What seems to be the trouble there, kiddo? Mamma didn’t teach you no manners on an online forum?
Most of this is just common sense, but for those that are new to life on a forum or those who have been here so long they might feel above the other members, here’s a refresher. Please keep in mind that these aren't rules so much as they are tips for living a happy life here on RPA... and making things easier and more pleasant for the rest of us!
• Read the Rules and Guidelines before posting. "I didn't know I couldn't do that" is not a good excuse.
• Always act civil. Rule number one in any sort of community is to remain polite, no matter how heated a discussion or situation can get. Once you cross the line from civil behavior to rude, offensive or insulting behavior, a conversation can quickly turn into a flaming match. Flaming is very much against the rules. If you don't like someone, you don't have to be syrupy sweet, just avoid that member and stay out of trouble yourself.
• Be respectful in discussions. Don't flaunt your opinion like it's the end all, be all of human thought, because it certainly is not. No one is perfect, and the whole point of a discussion is to exchange opinions, not to hammer your own views into someone. And if we're being honest, that doesn't really work in convincing anyone of anything. This also includes attacking people because of their grammar and spelling, or lack thereof. One of the great things about RPA is that we have people from all over the globe visiting us, and many of our members do not speak English as a first language. Also, we have a lot of members who are just learning the ropes of writing and rp'ing. Don't be a jerk because they forgot a comma or spelled something wrong. You were in those shoes too, once.
• No stereotypes. Judging a whole group of people based on the actions of just one is a no-no. There are people of different walks of life on this site, and some may be part of that group you're holding in contempt. Prejudice by race, religion, creed, gender, sexuality, etc is not allowed on RPA anyway, so this whole point is kind of redundant, but it's important enough to be said twice.
• Keep personal problems personal. Ok ok ok. We have members who seek advice from their friends and companions on RPA by posting some issues they are having, and that is perfectly fine. We are a community that helps each other out. But we draw the line with members making problems they have with other members public. Try to discuss things in pm's and sort it out on your own. You're a big boy. Or big girl. You can do it. If you have to, feel free to ask the staff to help out. But do not ask the staff to mediate a problem that did not originate on RPA. This might seem like a silly statement, but trust me, we've been asked. We are mighty, but we have no power in the outside world.
• No personal attacks. Not even veiled ones. I mean seriously. That's just childish.
• Give credit where credit is due. Imitation is not flattery. It's rude. Don't plagiarize. If you have to quote someone, be it a member of RPA or an outside source, site the original author. Don't steal professional photographs, works of art, or pieces of writing and claim them as your own. Don't claim to be the model, actor, writer, artist, etc of a piece of work if you really are not. I guarantee you would have a fit if someone did that to you, so don't do it to someone else. And yes, we will find out about it. I can't tell you how many times users from other sites have come to me all angry (and rightfully so) because someone on our site has ripped off their work and is taking credit for it. It's rude, and it puts me in a sticky situation too. So just don't do it.
• Don't be a Nosy Nelly. Unless someone gives you their express permission, always suppose that they do not want you nosing around in their private business. And yeah, hacking into accounts is a good way to get yourself banned. Duh.
• Stay on topic. A topic is made for a specific purpose and goal, be it to share experiences or to spark a discussion. Any sort of straying from this topic is not only a form of bad manners, but it also clutters the conversation needlessly. A little straying from the point is alright, but if a topic starts with the question what color you want your hair to be, and ends with a long discussion about how everything causes cancer, the staff will lock it. If you want to talk about something else, start your own thread.
• Post in the most appropriate forum. The subforums are pretty self-explanatory, a topic about your favorite musician goes in the Music subforum, under Entertainment. A topic about asking tips to quit smoking is best in its place under Life, the Universe and Everything under The News and Current Events.
• Post actual content. Unless you're in the Downtown section, try to post more than "lol."
• Keep it clean. Label things that are NSFW and put them in spoilers. Above all, do not post any material that supports illegal or dangerous activity. Remember, we have lots and lots of minors who read this site, and we'd like to keep it a safe place that their parents are ok with them visiting.
• Name changes. Yeah. I know, it's great fun to change your username. And it's awesome that RPA lets you do that. But please don't change it more than once every month. I mean, we'd really love to get to know you, but it's hard when we can't keep track of who you are! And do I need to mention that names have to be appropriate and free of sexual and racial terms?
• Don't play "he started it!" So you're in a thread, minding your own business, and somebody jumps on you about something that was said or an opinion you might have. If you retaliate rudely by attacking the other person, you will be held to the same punishment as the person who started it. Someone who adds fuel to a fire is just as bad as a fire starter. Yes, of course you have the right to defend yourself, but please do so civilly. If you feel you cannot respond without lowering yourself to a flamer's standards, please contact a mod.
Obvious Etiquette about and giving and taking.
• This is a free forum for our members. While we do accept donations for the care and maintenance of this place, the majority of the money it takes to run RPA is invested by the Admins. We don't expect special treatment and only ask that you follow this Etiquette and the rules.
• If you donate something to the forum, do not ask for something special in return. We do offer special acknowledgment events hosted in the news forum, or moderator positions for volunteering to make graphics. However the community's staff and members are no obligated to treat you any differently from the rest of the members of the community. This is a community of equals. We don't keep a score card and do not keep track of everyone's deeds. Please don't expect "special treatment" because you have a older registration date then someone else.
• You are not entitled to be a staff member. This is probably the most disgusting way of thinking I have ever had the displeasure of being involved with. I've had people demand they be made a staff member simply for being active or simply because they are in a lot of roleplays or because you made a banner and gave it to us to use. That is not the way it works and you are a idiot for thinking that way.
• It's a special privilege to be allowed to participate on this forum. It's privately owned, and yes, it does cost money and lots of time to run it. Please keep that in mind if there's a rule you don't agree with. You had the opportunity to think about our terms and conditions before you joined, so don't complain about them after you joined.
• Friends are treated the same as newbies, members, mods, or anyone else on the forum. Your friendship with a mod will not hold you exempt from the rules. You are not protected from following this etiquette by having a relationship with another member on here. Be it an intimate relationship or a regular friendship, you will still be held responsible for your actions.
Regarding the Forums: Think before you post!
• While we do encourage creativity and freedom of speech, use common sense when posting an RP. Remember that each topic as it is replied to IS viewable on the portal page and most people before joining RPA will see that page first. Therefore we ask that you use caution when titling your RP or game.
• If you title your RP in any way that can be misconstrued as being offensive to others you will be asked to change the title. If you are not sure if the title might be offensive to others, seek out a decision from the staff. If you are asked to change the title and do not change it in a timely manner, your thread will be shut down or changed without debate or further discussion.
• When joining in a discussion thread make certain that you have a working knowledge of the topic. If you don't then make sure that you do some research before trying to go into a debate on the topic. We all have our weaknesses. For example, if I jumped into a debate about physics, I would come away looking like a complete moron, but if we're talking about birdwatching, I feel confident that I can rock the house pretty hard and will jump into that topic with lighting speed! Just something to keep in mind when you are tempted to post your opinion.
• Remember that everyone has and is entitled to an opinion. Just because your opinion differs from someone else's does not mean that your are correct and they are wrong.
• If you can't agree to disagree, maybe you shouldn't join the thread. It's that simple.
The staff reserves the right to add to this list as needed.
Last edited by Anne Bonny; 03-30-2012 at 04:34 AM.