Commenting rules and guidelines

2015-04-28 00016

We like providing a commenting system so you can express yourself and share information with other readers, and for the most part, you're free to speak your mind under our articles. We do want our community to be a friendly and welcoming place for everyone, though, so there are a few rules. Here's what you need to know:

How are the comments moderated?

Our comments are moderated by a team of dedicated volunteers under the supervision of the community team. Community quality is closely monitored to ensure a civil, safe, and friendly environment for discussion.

Can I become a moderator?

Moderators are chosen from long-time members of the community and selected for their maturity and jurisprudence in dealing with difficult posts. They are appointed on an as-needed basis and are selected with the approval and recommendation of existing moderators and staff. If you show exemplary patience and maturity, and have been a helpful, contributing member of the community, rest assured that it will be noticed and taken into account when new moderators are needed. If you're interested in volunteering, feel free to email community@futurenet.com.

Why have I been banned?

Moderators ensure that the Rules of Conduct are being followed by users on the forums and comments sections, and will take steps to ban individuals who disregard the rules. If you've been banned, chances are that you weren't obeying the Rules of Conduct and a moderator took action against your account. Most bans are temporary and last only a few days, but major infractions may result in a permanent ban.

Rules of Conduct

The Rules of Conduct are general guidelines for users within our community. Follow these simple rules and you'll have a great experience here.

Please do...

  • Keep criticism constructive. If you disagree with an opinion, explain why, but never attack the person.
  • Read the pinned comments!
  • If asking a question, provide as much in the way of details as you can to help other members answer.
  • Use formatting to improve the quality of your comment. A well-formatted post is easier on the eyes and receives more responses.
  • Report violators of the Rules of Conduct to the moderation team by clicking the "Report" button or “Flag as inappropriate” option on the comment. 
  • Post your comment under the article most appropriate to the topic.

Please don't...

  • Be rude or impolite. Remember that behind each user is a real person. Personal attacks are not allowed against other members, staff, or moderators.
  • Post in ALL CAPS or use excessive punctuation!!!
  • Share personal information publicly, including your email address.
  • Post empty threads, throwaway comments, or responses that contain no content. Don't bump posts, claim "First!" or give single-word replies. 
  • Hijack a topic. Keep to the original subject matter. Do not post off-topic threads/comments in categories or on articles not set for that purpose.
  • Abuse the forum or commenting software by attempting to game the system through voting, reactions, or any reputation component functionality. Use is closely monitored and investigated. 
  • Use long quotes when responding to messages. Only quote as much of the original post as necessary.

Specific rules 

The following activity is expressly disallowed within our community:

  • Harassment, threatening, embarrassing or insulting other users, including sending unwanted messages, attacking/denigrating race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Hate speech is not permitted. You may not post or distribute any content that is harmful, abusive, disparaging, racist, homophobic, sexist, defamatory, infringing or invasive of privacy.
  • Engaging in any illegal activity. Asking for help pirating, cracking or bypassing copyright protections is not allowed.
  • Sexually explicit content; extremely disturbing imagery.
  • Spam. Commercial spam is handled with a zero tolerance policy. No posting links to any commercial service or product if you are personally affiliated. Official representatives may be present, but will be expressly indicated from their profile. Do not post/comment to advertise or promote.
  • Trolling, defined as knowingly soliciting strong negative responses simply for shock value, and disruption of the natural flow of discussion through vulgarity, spamming, flooding or other means.
  • Impersonation of others or sock puppeting.
  • Phishing. Moderators and staff will never ask for your password.
  • Uploading or linking to files which contain viruses or malware.
  • Unfounded conspiracy theories and inflammatory or abusive rhetoric. Political comments are acceptable when relevant to the topic at hand, but political opinions are not an excuse to break any of the other rules. The moderation team reserves the right to remove any post it deems to have crossed a line.
  • Resurrecting very old article comment threads.
  • Making accusations of corruption or bias toward staff or writers.

All content, including signatures, images, links, posts, and submissions are all subject to these rules. If your signature contains links, please ensure they adhere to our commercial spam policy. Where applicable, if signature content contains forwarding links to either past or present websites that have caused problems, your signature privileges will be suspended.

Additionally, forum and commenting accounts are non-transferable. Actions taken by a user on one account may affect all of that user's accounts. 

With these in mind, please remember to have fun. Most of these guidelines are common sense, and serve to keep the forum/comments useful, safe and secure for everyone. We thank you for your cooperation and support in this, and if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback regarding the Rules of Conduct, please contact a moderator or community staff.

Ads

Neither editorial nor community teams have any control over ads that are served on the site. If you do encounter an ad on-site that you believe to be invasive or inappropriate, email community@futurenet.com.

Avatars

Avatars should not be obscene, display excessive violence, flash enough to be a danger to people who have epilepsy, or defame any individual, group, party, or company. Failure to comply can result in your right to display an avatar being revoked. Moderators are the final arbiters in determining when an avatar is inappropriate or in violation of the guidelines.

Video content

We encourage the posting of videos! They can be very helpful and having a visual aid can be very beneficial for some people. Here are the guidelines for posting videos, provided this option is available in the forum/comments.

1. All videos posted should include a text description of what the video contains. This doesn’t have to be very long, but a sentence or two will let people know what they are about to view.

2. When posting a video as a solution or reply in somebody else’s thread or article commentary, the video must be relevant to the discussion.

3. Threads for standalone video content (reviews, unboxings, gameplay videos, etc) are permitted, but please ensure that they are posted in the correct category or relevant to the article posted.

Disabling comments

Please note that we may also disable comments altogether on certain articles. A small number of topics have been proven to inspire a large volume of heated, and sometimes hateful discussion. Therefore we will opt to shut threads that have descended into widespread abuse. This may also be done preemptively, for topics which have consistently drawn unconstructive discussions. 

Who do I contact if I have a problem or question? 

The community staff and moderation team are happy to provide help with any technical questions you may have. For problems that fall outside the norm (disputes with moderators, issues with the site, forums, or commenting systems, or to appeal a ban), please send an email to community@futurenet.com and somebody from the community staff will reach out to you as soon as possible.

Terms, conditions, & privacy 

The policies herein are the contractual requirements for admission and participation in the forum and/or site comments. You agree to comply and are obliged to comply with the rules above and in the following policies when joining and using a Future plc Forum and Commenting Software, and Future plc reserves the right to suspend or remove your user account and/or access without notices. You acknowledge and agree that, by accessing or using the services or by uploading or posting any User Content, you, your heirs, and assigns (collectively, “you”) are indicating that you have read, understand, and agree to be bound by these Terms. If you do not agree to these Terms, then you have no right to access or use the Services. All activity and participation within the forums and commenting sections are covered under the Future plc Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

Future plc reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to remove any User Content, block access to the forum and/or commenting system, and/or cancel the account of any user.