1. No threats of any kind. Threatening other members, in public or via PM, with real-life dangers will get you an immediate and permanent ban
2. No spam. Commercial messages or advertisements by new members will be deleted immediately and the poster banned. Please note that the forum has an in-built filter able to detect most spam messages and put them in a “waiting for approval” section visible only staff members. Spam also includes cut-and-paste proselytizing and hit-and-run proselytizing. Sending members unwanted or offensive pm's is also considered spam.
3. Proselytizing (attempts to convert people to a religion/belief system by means of preaching) is allowed as long as intelligent discourse follows, and as long as it is not spam. Repeatedly posting verses from your favourite holy book as “evidence” of your favourite deity is not considered intelligent discourse and can result in thread locking and, eventually, a ban. Please note that most members here are former believers and we’ve all heard the usual pro-religion arguments (Kalaam, Pascal’s wager, irreducible complexity, etc.) hundreds of times. If you want to convince us, please at least try to come out with something original.
4. No sock puppets. Creating additional accounts, whether you’ve been banned or not, is a no-no and will result in you being banned (again).
5. No flaming, personal insults or attacks. It’s all good and well to criticize, attack or ridicule an argument or an idea. Doing the same to a poster will not be accepted any longer and will result in a warning or a ban, depending on the gravity of the action. Repeated offenses will result in a ban. Following a member from thread to thread with the only purpose of attacking them on a personal level will get you a permanent ban. "Calling out" another member, that is, creating a thread aimed at flaming another member is also strictly forbidden.
6. No Posting of personal info. Personal info, be it your own or somebody else's, is not to be posted here at the AF. Personal info is defined to mean info that can be used to identify a private person's real-life identity, address, phone number, employer, etc., without their permission. If it is common public information, such as contact information for public figures such as politicians, it will not be considered an offense.
7. No obstruction, intended as the intentional hindering of moderators to do their job.
8. Links to own websites, etc.: Members are only allowed to publish links to their websites, blogs or YouTube channels or similar items on the internet when they have been a member for three months and have a post count of at least thirty.
9. No pornography. Ever. This board have members as young as 13 years old. Exposing a young audience to adult-rated material may cause legal troubles to the forum. Posting of adult-rated material will result in thread deletion, warnings and, in case of repeated violation of this rule, a ban.
10. No trolling, intended as the act of deliberately posting messages to the board that are hostile, insulting or meant purely to evoke emotional responses.
11. Quoting of copyrighted material: when you quote an article, a book, or any other source from the web or elsewhere, please always give the full link or identification of the source. Most material out there is copyrighted and failing to properly quote the source may infringe on international copyright laws. Failing to quote the source may get you a warning and/or a deletion of your post.
About personal messages:
For your general knowledge PM's are not accessible by mods or administrators, they are truly private messages. PM's are considered private and not to be published. Revealing the content and/or author of a PM without the sender’s approval will result in a ban. Remember that PM's are at the consideration of the receiver, abuse of the PM system can be as simple as refusing to stop correspondence when asked by the receiver. That is considered harassment. Harassment or threats may be brought to the council's attention and action will be taken.
About the “Jacuzzi” section:
Access to this section will be granted only on request; please note that requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that the staff may require some form of age verification from you. The purpose of this section is to create a “safe” area where members can talk about topics they don’t feel like to share in public or that are not appropriate for public viewing. This means that in this section the rule about NSFW (Not Safe For Work) material will be a bit more relaxed, but pornography (graphic depiction of sexual acts) will still not be allowed.
Note: The admins/mod team may have to make judgment calls from time to time as a result of ambiguity in the rules, definitions, or context of the alleged offense.
Since it is the job of the forum administrators and moderators to maintain general order, it is necessary that the mods and admins sometimes make judgment calls and take action even when a specific written rule does not seem to have been broken. This is especially true when some of the craftier posters among us artfully cause the same kinds of grief we're trying to prevent, while sidestepping the letter of the law as written in our posted rules. Instructions given by a mod or admin must be regarded as a posted rule until further notice or until rescinded by a mod or admin. Failing to comply with instructions from a mod or an admin will get you at least a temporary ban. Legitimate questions or concerns are given serious consideration by all mods and admins in Council.
One more thing: the council is not obliged to handle a complaint or a breach of forum rules, unless a moderator or administrator has received a P.M. (=Private Message) about it, or if you have clicked on the “Report to a moderator” link found under every post.