Forum etiquette means maintaining a standard of posting behaviour that is acceptable and appropriate.
Some lines must be drawn for the safety of all posting on the forum.
One of the staunchest rules of forum etiquette is not posting personal information about another poster. Even if that poster has all but drawn a map to his house, posting a real name or address is considered grounds for a permanent ban. This could compromise someone's safety. This is probably the most serious breach of forum etiquette and anyone breaking this rule will receive a lifetime ban.
You can disagree with someone's opinions, but calling that person an idiot or a profane name is a serious violation of forum etiquette, keeping it civil is the right thing to do. Anyone not complying with this rule may have their account suspended for a duration determined by the severity of the violation.
Freedom of speech is a two way street. With rights come responsibilities! You have a responsibility to be polite and courteous to your fellow members. If you feel someone is out of order, you don’t have to be the judge and the jury. Report it to a Moderator, and we can deal with it fairly.
Posting the same thing over and over again is called scrolling, and is also a banning offence.
Trolls are always in flagrant violation of forum etiquette and enjoy disturbing the peace at any forum where they post. Trolls tend to scroll, call names, gossip about other posters, post things that are deliberately provocative and usually that violate the forum's rules about posting. Anyone found Trolling will be banned.
Another violation of forum etiquette is posting in ALL CAPS. This is considered shouting and is very rude, in addition to being hard on the eyes. Something may be in caps for emphasis (e.g. I did NOT want to go!), but no post should be entirely in all caps.
Flaming, deliberate insults or insulting personal rants, are also against forum etiquette.
The veil of anonymity seems to bring out the worst some people, and any bullying tendencies they have tend to become magnified in the semi-protection of an anonymous forum.
Most of the rest of forum etiquette involves using the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. Behaving as a reasonable adult, even in the face of being flamed, is always the best course of action. If a poster becomes harassing, obscene or personal, do not retaliate. Instead, cut and paste the offensive post(s) into an e-mail and quickly report it to either a moderator or myself.
No 'flaming' - in other words, avoid personal attacks, pettiness, abuse. Respect other users, and if you disagree with them, explain why.
No 'trolling' - trolls are posts deliberately designed to provoke an angry response.
No personal disputes - if it gets personal, take it offline.
Don't be patronising or sarcastic. It comes across about ten times worse online.
Avoid typing in ALL CAPS, which is considered shouting or yelling.
Learn to let go - don't keep harping on about the same thing, or harking back to previous arguments. It is rarely productive, and you always end up going round in circles.
If someone else's post offends you, don't fight back online. It can be easy to sound rude without meaning to. However, if you really are troubled by the post contact a moderator or myself.
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