Forum Rules

This community is a place for everyone who wants to talk about music, sports, politics, pop-culture, technology, current events, or any of the big or small topics that arise on the internet each day. It was created to be a safe-space free of bullying, hatred, prejudice, and other toxic behaviors. As such, this is a moderated community with a variety of rules that are required for continued access. This forum is not a government and your rights upon it are dictated by the rules and policies found herein — if you don’t like the choices we’ve made in creating it, you don’t have to visit. It is your responsibility to have read our terms of service, these rules, and our privacy policy.

There are features built into the website to help us moderate it and help you create the best experience possible while visiting. The forum software allows us to give warnings about possible issues (both public and private), block users from communicating with each other, and ban members for a length of time for repeated infractions. This page details the forum rules, code of conduct, and moderation policies. You are responsible for being aware of what is and what is not allowed on these forums.

Posting of Copyrighted Material

This forum abides by the DMCA and will remove posts that contain reported copyrighted material. While links and embeds to websites like YouTube, Bandcamp, Rdio, Spotify, and others are allowed and encouraged to share legal media, linking to websites that contain (or linking directly to) leaked and/or illegally disseminated files is not allowed. Please see our TOS for more information.

Harassment and Posting of Personal Information

Messages containing other’s private information (e.g. phone numbers, street addresses, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.) are not allowed in our forums. “Doxing” or providing links to private information with the intent to harass, bully, or abuse is strictly prohibited.

Harassment and bullying on the forums is not allowed. This includes constantly messaging or quoting an individual, posting threatening or harassing messages to another member, and/or using the forums to make anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable. This includes doing things off of this website to members on this website. (E.g. If you harass a user of this website on Twitter, and do are doing it here too, you can be banned.)

Every account on the website comes with the ability to block other users. If you find yourself being harassed by another user on the website, we highly recommend you engage the block feature and report the activity to a moderator. We understand that there will be disagreements and heated debates around certain topics and it will be up to the moderating staff to determine the difference between the two. We may not get that right every single time, but we are going to err on the side of creating a community that is inclusive and welcoming. If you believe you have been banned, or punished, incorrectly on the forums — please reach out to discuss this privately with the moderating staff.

Discussion of Illegal Activities

Discussion of illegal activities and messages exhorting others to commit illegal acts: Murder, extortion, and any other felony are expressly forbidden. DoS attacks, hacking, flooding, and all other related computer crimes will be dealt with immediately and in fullest cooperation with local and federal law enforcement. Also included in this is harassment — for example, encouraging people to call someone on the phone, flood a website/mailbox, etc.

A Place For Everyone

This community was built to be a place where all users are respected. Sexism, racism, homophobia, and other variations of prejudice are strictly prohibited. We are aware that there are different cultural norms in regard to language around the globe, but most of the members of this forum are from the United States and as such the language rules are based upon these norms. That means specific words have been censored on the website. If you feel the need to use specific words when you are conversing with others — maybe this isn’t the forum for you.

The expectation for language on the forum is that of a public place in a regular city. Curse words are not forbidden, but those that disparage marginalized groups of people are not allowed. There will be a strict policy of keeping the forum conversations free of hatred and bigotry.

When talking about sports, or music, or, especially, politics, it's easy for the butting of heads and opinions. Opinions about music vary and can lead to lots of disagreements. It's ok for people to dislike things. It's ok to talk about what you like, don't like, or even hate. However, the goal in these discussions should be to explain why you dislike something and not just offer up words of hatred. If you're entering a thread to talk about a band or album try and realize most of the people in that thread will be fans of the band, and if the discussion is just going to be hostilities thrown around, it'll end badly. Political disagreements will happen; however, any kind of bigotry will not be tolerated. Likewise, telling people to "fuck off" (or a variation thereof) will not be tolerated over disagreements.

We will deal with trying to tell the difference between a troll and a regular visitor the best we can. Trolling will not be tolerated. Anyone coming into a thread to push a hateful agenda or use language just meant to rile up the community will be banned. Creating an account to sow discord, troll, or harass members of our community is simply not allowed.

Your Account

Having an account on this forum is a privilege. It is not a right. There are plenty of platforms all over the internet that are free-for-alls with no rules or moderation. Let me be very clear: this is not one of those. This forum was created to be the community arm of and is a privately run entity.

If at anytime you do not follow the rules set about on these pages, you can lose the privilege of having an account here. This community may not be ran like the others you come across on the internet, but that’s because we believe that fostering an environment of inclusion will lead to a better community experience for everyone.

Discussion of Moderation Policies

If you believe a moderation decision has occurred that you do not agree with, please reach out to a forum staff moderator to discuss this in private. Posting about what happened in public, making snide comments, changing avatars or user titles in protest of a moderation decision, virtually always ends up leading to a negative outcome. Please instead take a few minutes to collect yourself, write a detailed description of what occurred, and contact one of the staff members or moderators.

Attempting to Circumvent the System

This is simple: Attempts at hacking, creating multiple duplicate accounts, DDOS attacks, flooding, using proxies to avoid a ban, trying to steal or guess another user’s password, impersonating a staff member, and blatant disrespect to the staff or other users of the website, will all lead to your account being banned from this website.

Code of Conduct

We have adopted a code of conduct that we believe is important to running a diverse and vibrant community. We are committed to making participation in this community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or nationality.

Examples of unacceptable behavior by participants include:

    • The use of sexualized language or imagery
      Personal attacks
      Trolling or insulting/derogatory comments
      Public or private harassment
      Publishing other’s private information, such as physical or electronic addresses, without explicit permission
      Other unethical or unprofessional conduct
  • Moderators and staff members have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, posts, messages, profile posts, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct, or to ban temporarily or permanently any member for other behaviors that they deem inappropriate, threatening, offensive, or harmful. Moderators and staff members will try and communicate with posters on this website in regard to what is appropriate or not through communications, warnings (both public and private), and the posted rules/guidelines/and code of conduct.

    Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported using the "report" function that is available on all posts and profiles on the website. All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. Staff and moderators have been instructed to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident.

    We recommend the use of the block function on the website if you wish to not engage with a particular user. To avoid issues we recommend this test: don't say anything you wouldn't say aloud in a normal, regular bar, in any random city in the United States. Disagreements, arguments, and sarcasm are sure to be found within the threads of this forum, but our aim is to raise the level of discourse away from ad hominem attacks and to a debate or discussion of the ideas themselves.

    This policy is adapted, in part, from the Contributor Code of Conduct version 1.3.0.

    Moderation Policy

    One of the goals of the forum is to be as transparent about our moderation policy as possible so that every member on the site knows the rules, the expectations, and the potential warnings and punishments that moderators have available to them. If you have an issue with a user on the website, please report the post so that a moderator can take a look. If you have a constant issue with a user, we definitely recommend the block feature on the forums. If there's an issue with a moderator, please reach out to another moderator, forum moderator, or staff member.

    One of the more difficult things for a moderator is determining severity of an issue and how to respond. Our goal is to be as consistent as possible; however, there are a variety of different moderators, we're all human, and we're doing the best we can. Please realize that when moderation issues arise. We know that it's usually a very contentious moment and tempers are raised. We encourage everyone to try and take a few deep breaths in these situations as acting out of anger or lashing out really only leads to more issues. If a moderator is trying to let you know something isn't ok — escalating the situation will only cause more problems. If what has led to a moderator needing to step in is not super over the line, you're not going to be banned immediately for small offenses, but your odds of that being what happens increase if you become more and more hostile. We also understand that there will be arguments and discussions on the website that are intense. Our goal is not to stop difficult conversations from happening; however, we want the discussions to be proactive and productive and not filled with insults, name calling, or attacks.

    Thread Bans

    One of the tools moderators have to use are thread bans. These bans prevent certain users from accessing certain threads for, usually, a limited amount of time. The point of a thread ban is to give people time to cool off and make it clear that the current conversation isn't productive, is causing issues, and should cease. The goal of a thread ban is to let a member know that right now it's time to take a little timeout from that particular thread. At the moment, you're not being banned from the website, you're not being given any warning points, and the best course of action is to take some time away from the specific thread. Usually thread bans are one to three days, depending on severity, and if you think a thread ban is too severe or long, please reach out to staff or other moderators to discuss. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to go to other threads and continue the behavior that got you thread banned to begin with. If that happens, the next step is almost always going to be more harsh. The point of a thread ban is to say, "time out", and try let some space and distance bring everything back to a more even ground.

    Warning Points

    Moderators also have the ability to give out "warnings" for certain infractions on the website. Most of the time this is how moderators will be letting people know things aren't ok and trying to make sure our code of conduct is upheld. There are rare occasions where a user will be immediately banned. Using sexist, racist, or homophobic language is in this category. Trolling, doxing, or harassing other members is in this category. Creating fake or duplicate accounts to do any of these things is in this category. For other infractions, warnings will be given. These warnings may be private and your account getting an alert to tell you about the warning is our way of letting you know something is not ok. Please take these warnings seriously as they can add up and lead to bans on the site. These warnings may also be public. A moderator can attach a warning to a post so that others reading a thread know a certain post was flagged and seen by a moderator. This also lets others reading a thread know that the kind of behavior in a specific post was over the line. Moderators have, at their discretion, the ability to apply infraction points when they issue warnings. These points are almost always issued one at a time. These points almost always expire after one month. These points are only available for moderators to see and give out. Here's what happens when they accumulate:

    When an account reaches three points, it's three strikes and that's a 3 day ban from the website. This is meant to be a wake up call, a signal that there are some issues with how you're posting and things need to change if you want to continue being a member of this website. After the three day ban, we hope, you'll never get any more points. However, please be aware that those points probably don't expire for a month, so, if you get one more, you're once again banned for another three days. If an account reaches five points, it will be banned until the points expire and it's back under five. At eight points an account is permanently banned from the website. If you get to this point, you've been warned, you've been banned temporarily multiple times, and clearly you didn't learn.

    By and large this is how moderation is handled on the website. Where deviations occur are when there are clear cases of harassment or bigotry. A troll joining the forums and throwing around slurs is not going to get three warnings while they continue to harass people. They will simply be kicked off the site.

    Discussing Warnings or Bannings

    If you think you've been given a warning unfairly please don't post about it in public and other threads, this never leads to productive conversations. Instead, please message a staff member or other moderator so they can discuss it. Other moderators and staff can reverse warnings if need be and can look at things that you feel were applied unjustly. You can also reach out to me personally either on this site or via email or Twitter if you need something looked at. The goal here is to be a community that is tolerant, understanding, and willing to have hard conversations, but built on mutual respect. We know that it's impossible for everyone to get along all the time, but if we walk into it with good intentions, are willing to give others the benefit of the doubt, I think we have a chance to really make something special here.