Welcome to TheLitForum.com. Your forum manager, Margaret Campbell, and the rest of the staff are happy you found us!
Rules of Participation
TheLitForum.com is a friendly place and good manners are expected of all members. We understand that some discussions grow heated, but ask that a reasonable level of civility be maintained.
While participating in this forum, please observe the following rules:
(1) Messages that contain personal insults, attacks on the character or intelligence of other forum members, and/or profanity will be deleted without notice or warning.
(2) Messages that call for illegal action or that might result in harm to others are not allowed on this forum. Such messages will be deleted, and the writer may be locked out until we determine if the writer's participation in the forum might be dangerous to others.
(3) If you wish, you may change the name you use in this forum, in the Edit Profile section of your User Control Panel. But impersonation of another member or a public figure, living or dead, may result in lockout without further comment. We also reserve the right to block user names that are intrinsically offensive or clearly intended to offend. Such decisions are at the sole discretion of the management.
(3a) While you may be interested in learning more about your correspondents on the forum, we must ask that you not insist on details. If another member tells you that personal questions are out of bounds, please respect that request. Similarly, if a member asks you not to use a nickname for him or her, we must ask that you desist.
(4) In general, we accept language that is commonly heard on prime-time network television. Gratuitous obscenity and/or explicit or implicit descriptions of sex do not belong in this forum. Scatological or sexual vulgarism should not be spelled out. If you must use such words, use asterisks or other punctuation to disguise them (examples: l*wy*r, l*b*r*l). Language is a changing medium, however, so we will sometimes have to make rulings in grey areas.
(5) While discussions understandably grow heated at times, we ask that members try to correspond in a friendly and good-mannered fashion. Please try to focus on the issues, not on your correspondent. Attack the message, not the messenger! For example, it is permissible to call an idea a "lie." Calling your correspondent a "liar," however, is a personal attack and not permitted. Similarly, you may consider an idea foolish, but we don't allow posts in which one member calls another a fool.
(5a) Every member is free to read and respond to every message on the board. If you dislike a correspondent, you are free to ignore him, but not to ask that he not write to you on the board. Should you wish no further correspondence from a particular member, you can use the "Add to Ignore List" option in that user's profile. If you do this, you will no longer see that member's messages, although other participants will still be able to read them.
(5b) We are not friends to bigotry. While issues of race, religion and ethnicity may arise, we reserve the right to remove messages that, in the judgment of the staff, are nothing more than calls to hatred, or promote or attack a particular ideology.
(6) While we advocate allowing a range of viewpoints, we will not support posts that are prejudiced against anyone because of who they are, who they love, or the belief system to which they adhere, or which promote or attack any political or ideological point of view. Such posts may be removed without notice. In particular, as discussion of current political and ideological issues can lead to strife and contention, these types of posts are not permitted and will be removed.
(7) Messages that seem to have no other object than to disrupt forum discussion and/or attack individuals or groups are not allowed in this forum. Such disruption can include one-liners, multiple postings of the same offensive message, and other forms of harassment.
(7a) Similarly, remember that this is a DISCUSSION and DEBATE forum for interaction and talk, not hit-and-run posts. Messages that are little more than a URL or spam for another website will be removed.
(8) Duplicate, reprinted and/or blank messages should NEVER be placed on the message board. Although quotation of previous messages is effective and even necessary in many cases, we ask that these be kept as short as possible.
(9) The staff reserves the right to move messages from one section of the forum to another and to rename threads in order to make sure that each thread is in the appropriate section for its topic and tone.
Discussion of Forum Policy
We understand that there will be disagreements about forum management from time to time. Discussion of such disagreements is permitted, within reasonable limits. We emphasize the word "discussion!" Messages attempting to trash the forum or the staff will be removed from public view. Persistent attacks on forum policy or staffers simply doing their jobs are not welcome. Attempts to undermine forum policy through campaigns on the board or in email are against the forum rules. We will also not allow endless rehashing of alleged grievances or disagreements.
Please remember, too, that these discussions must be limited to this forum alone. This is not the place to raise your disagreements with the staff of other forums.
Copyright and Fair Use
TheLitForum.com respects copyright law. Copyrighted material may not be used here without the specific written permission of the copyright holder. All written, spoken, and visual material, including that published on-line, is assumed to be copyrighted unless it is clearly identified as being in the public domain. Photographs are not permitted without specific copyright permission from the original source. This especially applies to photographs published in newspapers, other news media, or commercial web sites.
Brief "fair use" excerpts are allowed as exceptions, but the staff must make final determinations of where "fair use" ends and infringement begins. Roughly, "fair use" allows less than 10% of the total of the work copied, or 500 words, whichever is less. Due to their short length, copyrighted poems and song lyrics must only be referenced by an external link without such a grant of permission. They should not be quoted directly in a message or in a member's signature. Remember, even a "fair use" excerpt should be properly attributed. This means that the source must be given even if the item is not copyrighted.
Please note that merely attributing credit is not the same as "fair use." You cannot post a copyrighted work and excuse it by mentioning the owner/creator. Copyright is literally "the right to copy." Without the explicit permission of the owner, you do not have that right. Similarly, though some web sites claim the posting of a copyrighted work is permitted by fair use, their assumption does not grant permission to others to post such material here. They may be in error!
We all must respect other members of TheLitForum.com too. For this reason, you must have specific permission from the authors of files, private email, and messages from other forums before you may post them here on TheLitForum.com. Similarly, messages (or screenshots of messages) and files from this forum may not be reposted elsewhere without specific permission from the author. Messages that consist of nothing but excerpts from copyright materials or URLs without substantive comment from the member are not acceptable.
No advertisements will be permitted in this forum unless they have been authorized by the forum manager. No ads for information exchange (petitions, surveys, questionnaires), soliciting for funds, or advertisements for other online services will be permitted.
Responsibility for Rule-Breaking Posts
Each message writer is responsible for what he or she writes; neither the forum nor the staff assume responsibility, legal or otherwise, for what is written here. Rules violations or provocative messages by other forum members are not an excuse for breaking the rules or guidelines in response.
We will attempt to catch all rule-breaking messages, and appreciate being told of any we miss or haven't yet seen. Please remember that messages are posted as soon as you enter them. The staff watches for rule-breaking messages, but may not see them before you do.
The forum rules listed above cannot be modified by or for individual members. Participation in this forum is by sole discretion of the management and based on adherence to the above rules.
Consequences for Repeated Violations of Forum Rules
Generally, we will give warnings before locking a participant off the board, but the management reserves the right to decide when "enough is enough." Users who repeatedly break our rules and have been warned by staff about their rule-breaking will be put on post moderation, where their posts will not appear in public until approved by a member of staff.
Users who continue to break the rules while on post moderation will be put on a two-week posting ban. Further rule-breaking will earn a one-month posting ban, followed by a permanent ban if behavior is still not changed.
Users who are subject to post moderation who use a different account to get around the post moderation will be put on a one-month posting ban for a first offense. A second offense will result in an additional month added to the initial posting ban. A third offense will earn a permanent ban, and any new accounts created by the user following that will also be permanently banned.
Thank you for your cooperation in helping to make TheLitForum.com a pleasant place to visit. If you have any questions not covered by these rules & guidelines, please post a public message to any staff member, or, if you prefer, send an email to Forum Manager Margaret Campbell (Margaretc@gmail.com).