We may add, change, or delete rules as time goes by. If you think these rules are unfair or think we've left something out, please let us know. They are negotiable (to a certain extent), but they will be the standards by which we judge whether a post needs to be audited or a member needs to be disciplined.
1. Discussions and comments should be civil and specific to the issue at hand (as opposed to directed towards an individual member). Please refrain from vulgarity, libel, name-calling, and gratuitous gossip. Members need to avoid name-calling that calls into question someone's character. You can be suspended if it's found out you're peeing in your britches or posting links to scandalous web sites, and even worse can happen if you're a BOT that is only here to post links to "for sale" sites.
2. Please refrain from inflammatory posts. Don't post something just to get a reaction out of people. Basically: be nice and play well with others! Posts on controversial issues (ex. politics, religion) should be meant to provoke discussion, not incite anger. The topic of aboortzion is off limits becaues Pubby's Rule is that it does nothing but make people fight. Let's remember the Golden Rule to treat others as you want them to treat you. That there is a really important rule! This means not only other p.com members but also people and businesses in the community. We all make mistakes. We're only trying to make this fair for everyone, and it isn't fair to anyone when an anonymous post can do terrible harm to the good name of a business or individual. (Please see below for a sub-section dealing specifically with business complaints.)
3. If you want to share a news article with everyone, please be sure to post a link to the article and either paraphrase parts of it or quote only small sections directly. Please don't post articles in their entirety (don't cut and paste them into your post). This is for legal purposes (because we don't want to get in trouble over copyright issues). Quoting an entire article or not giving a link for reference may result in the post being removed and or the member warned, sanctioned, suspended or removed. (italics added 1/9/07)
4. If you have information regarding a person within the county (say, a politician) who is involved with immoral or illegal activity (say, with an international governmental conspiracy to enslave humanity under extraterrestrial rule), please be aware that your comments may be edited or deleted until they can be confirmed. Again, this is for legal purposes. If your information turned out to be false, the person you've accused could sue you.
FYI, if it is a good story, go ahead and send it via private message to Publisher and let him see if can become a front-page story.
5. As a general rule, regular members and plus members should have only one identity. Those who have a commercial membership will be allowed to have a second user identity, one for their commercial activity and one for personal use that is not tied to the commerce account. Publisher must approve all second identities. There are no exceptions to this. If a secondary user identity that was not approved by Publisher is discovered a Deputy will contact you. You will be asked to pick one identity, and the duplicate will be deleted immediately.
Regardless, it is improper for a member to make a post with one identity and then make a post (supporting or even in contradiction to the original post) in an effort to raise awareness of the topic or show support for the original poster. This infraction qualifies the poster as a 'criminal genius' and may result in the deletion of one account and the suspension of other accounts.
6. The deputies request that you notify the authorities of questionable posts immediately. There are a "whole bunch" of posts each day and only a few deputies to patrol all those main avenues and side streets. Please, do the Town of Mayberry a really sweet favor and report things that just shouldn't be. And remember that Publisher is very busy so just let the deputies or Sheriff Andy know. We know how to handle law-breakers around here. If you detect a post that breaks one of these rules, or if you think it is inappropriate, please, notify one of the deputies. This is very helpful to us because there are so many posts that we may not be able to read every single one and we may miss something that should be edited, deleted, moved or closed.
7. Public posting of Private Messages is a no-no. The moderators do have discretion in this area but the general rule is keep Private Messages private.
8. Signature sizes: Paulding.com allows users to post images and sayings in the area designated for user sigs. There are specific rules regarding what is appropriate in the use of signatures. Specificially, images in signatures may not exceed 200 pixels tall whether as a single image or because of stacking of images. Images in signatures may not exceed more than 500 pixels wide. This is an established rule and can be reviewed here. Moderators may request members reduce the size of their signature image or, in the event of a gross violation, they may change or delete the users signature. There are tutorials regarding how to reduce images and other similar actions here.
9. Violations may result in you getting a Bullet. The deputies may also reward you with a "Mayberry." Bullets are "over par" or positive numbers below your screen name. Mayberries are "under par" or negatives below your screen name. Only you can see these. Bullets are bad. Mayberries are good. When the bullet count gets to three (3), there is a three (3) day suspension. Four (4) bullets will mean five (5) days off. Five (5) bullets equals eight ( days of no posting. Six (6) will mean a fourteen (14) day suspension. When seven (7) bullets are reached, that's a twenty-one (21) day barring from p.com. Eight bullets ( would be getting serious: a thirty (30) day vacation. Nine (9) bullets would mean we have to do something to seriously get your attention to calm down, so it is a sixty (60) day freeze of posting ability. If someone manages to get to ten (10) bullets, just consider that a permanent barring from paulding.com. No more. Won't see you again. Forget it. You're outta here. Gone. Bye-bye.
Rule regarding posting critical comments about businesses in the community.
RULE REGARDING POSTING CRITICAL COMMENTS IN POSTS STARTED BY BUSINESSES (ADDED 10.11.06)
Paulding.com's ownership and management promises ITS advertisers their first amendment right to market their goods and services in the manner they want (within sensibility and with the right of refusal) without having those marketing efforts hijacked, ridiculed or publicly criticized or challenged in the topic they start.
Members will respect these rights promised to our advertisers/commerce members and if they choose to criticize those members, or the post that was made by them (commerce members) they will do so in a separate topic they author and not in the topic started by the commerce member. Critics are advised to avoid topics started by the advertiser they are critical of and paulding.com may, at their sole discretion, remove, move or delete the topic critical of an advertiser. If a member can't help but want to criticize an advertisers marketing effort they should open their own topic. Doing so will avoid a double sanctions for the first topic critical to an advertiser whether or not it is edited, deleted or moved.
Paulding.com is and always has been respectful to the speech rights of all its members but posting a critical comment -- raining on an advertisers parade in the topic started by the advertiser -- in a topic started by an advertiser will subject the violator to double sanctions on principal.
You want to comment, use another topic and if you've got anything approaching a point, you'll probably not suffer anything worse than that topic being sent to the hell hole ... and probably not even that. The principal is this crap is going to stop.
Member name Policy (added 11/01/06):
Paulding.com makes every feasible effort to accommodate the desired name of any individual with any class of membership. This effort is without warranty and is subject to the following provisions:
1. The member identity does not infringe on the commercial rights of a business to a name;
2. The member identity does not infringe the commercial viability of Paulding.com;
3. The member identity does not suppose or impersonate another person (i.e. the individual has adopted a false identity for purposes of fraud);
4. The member identity does not infringe or does not involve a name that seems to be morally ethical or sexually explicit.
In an effort to clarify the meaning of provision number two above, commencing on November 1, 2006, Member display identities shall be consistent with their membership type.
Specifically, membership names that include or suggest the name of a business, commercial or governmental entity or brand name are prohibited in any membership class except commerce membership.
Brand names and variations (Coca Cola boy, Pepsi freak) may be allowed as a personal name but only for those with a premium membership, and then at the pleasure of Paulding.com which may be compelled to act to restrict the use of the name by the trademark holder. At present, the presumption is that such names, even if used strictly for personal communication, are or could be a sponsored commercial name.
Use of local business names, including any name that appears to be commercial in nature, by a person or person without connection to that business name is prohibited.
Use of local business names that are not commerce members in topic headings is prohibited whether the member is signing praises to or even reviewing the business critically. Paulding.com under its rules regarding negative posts about businesses (the strong suggestion that the member actually initiate a legal action about their complaint before bringing it to the board) rules in the case of allegations of tortuous acts may further restrict, edit and remove posts or topics involving the presentation of a business.
Employees or principals of local businesses, in order to use a business name as a posting account, display a commercial message in an avatar or in a posting signature, must acquire a paulding.com commerce membership.
Existing accounts that do include a business name as the userID and are not classed as commerce memberships, may be placed in a membership group with limited or no posting rights.
Existing accounts that include an avatar, or signature or both an avatar or signature that include a commercial message (A member is selling goods or services or promoting a business or web site that is commercial in nature) may have the avatar or signature or both removed.
Home occupation businesses that typically do not require a formal business license, including small home day care, Avon, Amway, Southern Living at Home, tupperware and similar 'home party' businesses, are allowed to operate on a premium personal ID provided they do not advertise parties, include advertising links, contacts info or links to web sites in their signature and conduct all business and soliciation through PM's. This prohibition is waived for those who hold commerce memberships.
Failure to comply will result in the loss of posting privileges. Further, Paulding.com reserves the right to name, establish, create and publish any userID it chooses for those who violate the prohibition.
Public complaints of moderation ... 12/26/2006
It is almost inevitable that those who break the rules will end up playing victim and complain about their 'shabby treatment.' As the Pcom popo are directed not to discuss moderation acts in public, the decision to make a complaint public lies solely with the person complaining. As this allows the perpetrator the opportunity to tell their side of the story first.
This ability has been used by some, in cooperation with other sites, to express disdain and advertise the reason for the split; often to the detriment of paulding.com's business.
Given that it would be improper to prohibit such activity, the idea that there are no repercussions for such activity leaves Paulding.com almost defenseless.
So, whether or not a complaint is justified, the exercise of the right of publicizing a complaint carries with it the sanction of two bullets and all the penalties so associated (suspensions, etc.) except that paulding.com management may, at their sole descretion, provide one or more counterveiling mayberries.
Hence, beginning midnight, December 27, 2006 a person complaining about a moderation action on the public board will automatically earn two bullets regardless of the circumstance ... but the popo on duty or management may, at their discretion, provide mayberries that will negate the automatically assessed sanction. If the popo judges that one bullet will suffice, they may combine the double sanction into the single entry or if they decide that one mayberry is adequate, the popo may determine, with a discussion of the entire episode in the users record, to award a single Mayberry.
Personal Messages sent to other persons, are considered private information. However if a recipient of a PM forwards an offending PM to pcom's moderation staff, that PM will at that point be considered to have been made public and, at the descretion of the management, will become subject to the same sactions as a publicly posted complaint.
(Explaination of a one-mayberry award under this rule .
Don't do the bump ...
Added May 5, 2008
The use of the bump is now officially discouraged in the rules. Paulding.com's communication system is based on the interest of members in various topics and one way they express their interest is to add a comment to a topic. That act puts the topic back at the top of the queue of topics in the recent topics page.
An early practice to highlight things was to post the word 'bump' or some variation (bump it up) to help make sure others saw a topic.
We've in other areas/forms, suggested that this is not a good idea and that while we understand the necessity of people to help out their topic by posting to it a 'bump' ... Pcom is too large to allow that to be considered anything but a bad idea.
The rule, by appearing here, become more enforceable as it has not been a formal rule.
Members should note that this rule will be enforced when the term bump or a variation is used but that in many cases, members may accomplish the same thing by posting a new bit of information or comment that adds to the conversation.
Penalty for violation of the rule is at the discretion of the popo who may set the 'bump' invisible, formally warn the individual or award a bullet for the violation depending on the circumstances and even the nature of the event/topic being 'bumped'. A commercial message, particularly one that involves an event, offer or review of a commercial nature by or involving a non-commerce member is more likely to be acted upon with the greatest sanction than other abuses.