Board rules

These rules are disclosed to clarify the various responsibilities of all community members here on Alt.Mustardland. They shall be adhered to by everyone to ensure that our board runs smoothly and provides a fun and productive experience for all of our community members and visitors.

  1. We aim broadly to follow the same sort of ethos that was to be found on the old BBC Radio 4 "Archers" message board, and that is still to be found in "Peet's". Moderation is intended to be more as it is in "Peet's"; as light as possible, whilst maintaining the standards of the board.

    If you are a regular listener to BBC Radio 4, or Radio 3, or possibly even Radio 2 (in the old days: "Home", "Light", and "Third"), or if you like "Private Eye", you'll probably like it here. If your newspaper of choice is a "red-top" (such as the Mail, Mirror, Sun, Star, Express), and particularly if you believe that these papers represent good journalistic standards, then you may not get on well here (but, you might!).

    Everyone has opinions. Just try and remember, not everyone shares your opinions, and doesn't want you ramming yours down their throat at every possible opportunity. For example, if a group are discussing the latest Royal baby, and you are a staunch believer that the monarchy should be consigned to history - just don't join in, it's not for you. If you feel so strongly that you simply can't keep your hands off your keyboard ... then, start your own separate thread to debate the monarchy!

    We are not "in competition" with "Peet's"; what we're trying to do is provide a viable alternative for those who have difficulty using that site. Yes, this board was set up in response to dissatisfaction with the management and moderation at another location, but that is not something that will be discussed here.

    With the usual caveats about not posting anything that might be classed as libel, slander, hate speech, inciting to violence, inciting to hatred, sexually explicit, illegal, etc, or discussion of matters considered "sub judice", we don't have any "banned" subjects, or "hidden" areas other than the "staff room" for the staff only. By long-standing custom and tradition, there are certain subjects which are generally not debated in certain threads or groups, in particular, political and religious debates; since political debate can sometimes get quite heated, we have created "Annie's Bar" for the purpose. It's still an open board area, it's not "closed off". Passing comments on politicians' hair-dos, or squeaky voices, isn't classed as "political debate"; commenting that "so-and-so or such-and-such party's attitude to [insert subject here] is reprehensible" IS political debate. Similarly, mentioning that you're baking for the church Bring & Buy, or fund-raising for the vicar's roof renovation, isn't "religious discussion". #
  2. Rules regarding Moderation

    1. Moderators on this board strive to be transparent, fair, and consistent. Note that "Administrators" are also Moderators. #
    2. Moderators are not anonymous. If a moderator chooses to use different board names as a moderator and as a regular poster so as to make it clear which "hat" they have on, that's fine - but the fact that these are two names for the same person will be made very clear to all (for example, in their signature). #
    3. Moderators are not permitted to be "invisible" when online; where a moderator has separate "moderator" and "user" identities, this applies to both. This is not optional, it is configured as a board setting which cannot be bypassed. #
    4. The moderators have obligations to our users: in particular, when severe action such as suspension is being taken, the person concerned must be notified by email. Note that this will not apply to clearly identifiable "spambots" or other marketing low-life. Nor will it apply where a user has explicitly disabled email contact by staff, or has provided a non-working or "burner" email address. #
    5. When moderator intervention is required, the mods probably have a lot more knowledge of what's going on than you do. So please, do not discuss moderation "on thread". #
    6. Moderators may issue formal warnings to users; these will be delivered to you by PM (Private Message). If you have been warned, your "warning level" will be visible to you on your User Control Panel. Warnings expire automatically after 90 days. If you are being repeatedly warned, further action (including restrictions on posting, pre-moderation, or, in really serious cases, temporary or permanent suspension) may be taken. #
    7. If you do have an issue concerning moderation, please don't bring it up "on thread". Go to the "Office" forum, and post your concern on the "Moderation issues" thread. We will do our best to address your concern. However, we're not likely to respond kindly to insults or "trolling", any such is likely to land you back in pre-mod. #
  3. Rules regarding Posting

    1. No foul language or swearing, please. Think "PG15" - paraphrase, or use a customary alternative. #
    2. Good manners and politeness are expected. If you need to ask what this means, maybe you shouldn't be here. #
    3. No "bashing" - of organisations, groups, or people. #
    4. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Respond to the post, not to the poster. #
    5. Please do not use pejorative terms - unless you can actually justify them in context, with something more than just an opinion. #
    6. "Quick-fire" or "smiley-only" posts are frowned upon. They may occasionally be justified, but not often. #
    7. Don't be confrontational and argumentative: there is no need to turn every discussion into an argument. #
    8. Please keep your prejudices to yourself, and don't bring them here. If you can't back your opinion up with indisputable facts or references, but keep on pressing it anyway in the face of well-supported contrary opinions, then it's probably a "prejudice". #
    9. Don't keep repeating yourself. We heard you; other people may have a different opinion, and are entitled to express it. #
    10. If there is a discussion about something that you don't like, then please stay out of it and leave the people who DO want to discuss it alone. #
  4. Rules regarding Users

    1. Usernames or avatars that are offensive, or that are likely to be considered offensive, are not allowed. #
    2. We do have some "older" and visually impaired members, so please consider this when choosing an Avatar image. Animated avatars are not permitted. #
    3. Whilst we try to stop "spambots" and other marketing low-lifes from even registering, sometimes one might slip through the net. If any such are identified by their posts after being accepted for registration, the account(s) will be cancelled forthwith, without notifications as would normally be required by our rules; furthermore, all details (including originating IP address) will be forwarded to public "spam" blocklists for possible inclusion. #
    4. Legitimate users will not be culled, even if they never post. We do appreciate that you may wish to register, but simply to "lurk" and not actively post (or not yet). That's OK, we don't assume you must be a "troll" or a "sock-puppet" just because you haven't posted in 6 months!

      HOWEVER: Any user who's first post is obvious "spam", advertising, promotion, phishing, or the like is not considered to be a "legitimate" user and will be deleted immediately, without notice. And since 99% (at least) of registrations from Russia are hackers, fraudsters, or spammers, any user account registered with a ".ru" email address will also be deleted immediately, without notice. If you ARE a genuine Russian user, please use another email address, the reputation of ".ru" emails is so bad that we cannot allow them. #
    5. It is the user's responsibility to provide a working email address on registration, and to ensure that this email address remains usable, in order to be able to receive communications from the board and from the board staff. If a user chooses to disallow email contact, then clearly the staff will be unable to notify them by email where this would be required by the rules. #