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.
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 personal ID provided they do not include the commercial message in their signature. This prohibition is waived provided they have obtained a premium paid annual membership. In all cases advertisements for these businesses shall be placed in the commerce section of the site.
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.
Paulding.com defines unauthorized advertising in the signature area and avatar area of a member as unauthorized commercial messages - aka: spam.
Paulding.com will authorize political advertising in the form of banners or text messages supporting candidates or propositions IN MEMBERS SIGNATURES or in AVATARS ONLY when a candidates or supporters of a ballot initiative have obtained a commerce membership for the purpose of promoting their candidacy or proposition on the site.
As AVATARS and SIGNATURE AREAS are primarily used for advertising, messages supporting candidates who are not commerce members of the site will be removed by management and staff as SPAM.
This does not mean that candidates or propositions (that have not purchased a commerce membership) cannot be discussed in topics or posts. The members freedom to discuss and even publicly state their support in text columns is not impacted AT ALL by this rule provided those posts are in the proper forum and are 'on topic'. Off topic (Wild spamming) posts, regardless of the membership basis of the candidate (commerce/non-commerce) being promoted, will be treated as SPAM.
Rather, this rule pertains only to the use of the signature or avatar areas of your membership as off-topic comments have always been subject to removal.
This simply means that messages in members signatures expressing support for any candidate - state, local or national - must be on behalf of a candidate whose purchase of a commerce membership (license to advertise on the site) allows him/her or the committee in favor of a proposition, to organize the those members of the community to promote their proposition. Candidates and committees that have not purchased such a license are, by definition, spamming the board with unauthorized advertising if members include promotional material for inclusion in member signatures and avatars.
Abuse of the signature area and avatar area by members posting unauthorized material supporting non-paying or unauthorized campaigns will have the offending advertisements removed and will be warned. Subsequent efforts by a member to promote a candidate who is not authorized by a campaign committee or their personal commerce membership IN THE AVATAR OR SIGNATURE AREA will be treated as SPAM.
This rule is effective December 11, 2007
In an effort to avoid restricting the debate involving those running for political office but maintain a reasoned debate, the issue of criticisms being directed toward candidates who are not perfect typists or grammarians has become an issue.
First, as I want to foster discussion, it is important that folks running for office be willing and eager to share their views with the public without fear they'll be roundly criticized, not for their ideas, but for their typing skills.
I've always chided folks for being spelling and grammar nazi's as their efforts make people too self-conscious about sharing their ideas and therefore stifle debate.
Now, I don't think that the primary qualification for office should be or should ever be the ability to ace English 101.
If I graded everyone on the site and limited participation only to those who wrote exceptionally, we might have five posting members ... and that probably wouldn't include me.
The reality is that it is even more important that we encourage those who run for political office to be willing to share their thoughts and ideas than ever before. Whether or not they are perfectionists in communicating those thoughts and ideas in print with exceptional writing capability is not a qualification for office.
If you feel it is, make your choice of whom to vote for accordingly. If you want to criticize a candidate on that basis, do it by phone or buy a billboard or paint it on the side of a railroad car but don't make it an issue here.
From this moment on, members who criticize any political candidate on issues of grammar and spelling will be subject to the same sanctions that those who would do that publicly in a post by a commerce member.
Their ideas, their plans and their qualifications are all fair game however I will insist on the members, under penalty of double sanctions, to exhibit a basic degree of respect in their conversations with PCOM registered candidates.
While this doesn't mean one cannot disagree, the belief is that if a candidate in their zeal to communicate with the public through Paulding.com misspells a word or mixes tense in a sentence, pointing out that fault will be considered off-topic and subject to a bullet.
Said a little differently, while I encourage all to use perfect English and proper grammar, I am so much more interested in hearing what folks have to say.
In fact, grammar and spelling Nazi's should know that ridiculing poor usage is a violation of the rules of common decency and may subject the offending individual to a bullet for that infraction whether or not the person is a candidate for office, commerce member or regular member.