Golden rule – treat others as you would like to be treated. Remember the human. Adhere to the same standard of behaviour that you follow in real life.
Trolls are not welcome. A "troll" is a person who intentionally attempts to disrupt, cause controversy, incite an argument, and/or receive negative attention by deliberately posting provocative content.
No flame wars. "Flaming" is what people do when they express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion. Flaming is directing negative, disrespectful, and/or insulting comments toward someone. This typically results in an equally or more negative response, resulting in a cycling exchange of insults – hence a “flame war”. Flaming is disrespectful and immature and is extremely unwelcome on most online forums.
Behaving as a reasonable adult, even in the face of being flamed, is always the best course of action. If a poster becomes harassing, obscene or personal, do not retaliate. The ensuing online flame war annoys many other forum viewers and can result in people leaving and joining other forums. Instead of engaging on an online war of words, simply use the "Report this post" (!) button to alert moderators or forum administrator who will take appropriate action.
There is a big difference between constructive discussions and flaming. Criticism must be constructive, well-meaning, and well-articulated. Please avoid tantrums. You can disagree with someone's opinions, but calling that person an idiot or a profane name is a violation of forum etiquette. Respect other people’s personal views, even if you disagree with them. Nor is there any need to tell the entire world that you disagree with somebody. Your own pet topic or hobbyhorse about a particular bird species that should be eradicated is unlikely to be of interest to many other people on the forum. Engaging in an online forum is no different from discourse at a social function, and bigoted or disagreeable people will quickly discover that they are alone with nobody talking to them.
Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes (including bad spellers!). Forgive people’s off-moments – they will be better tomorrow. If it is you that has made the mistake – apologise!
Ignore spammers – if spam gets onto the forum site it will be dealt with by the administrator. Use the "report this post" button flag suspicious posts that may slip through.
- Remember that your comments are written, so follow the proper rules of writing. Use standard grammar, punctuation, and usage. It takes only a moment to capitalize your name and the first word in a sentence.
- DON’T USE ALL CAPS. THIS IS TERMED SHOUTING!
- Avoid excessive use of emoticons like and text message abbreviations like "c u l8r".
- Search first before posting to see if someone else has asked a similar question or posted on a recent sighting or news item.
- Stay on topic – start a new thread if you want to discuss something else.
- Avoid slang and acronyms (e.g. VOC, BBG) unless the terms are well understood or you have clearly explained them in your post.
- Extremely long posts are not usually welcome.
- If you ask a question on a forum, say thank you for the answers you get from others.
- Use email or private mail if you want a private conversation with somebody.
- If you use a signature, keep it modest.
- Be courteous and polite at all times, even if you disagree with someone.
- Keep your language family-friendly. No swearing.
- Do not make personal attacks against another member. No shaming, name-calling or sarcasm.
- Think before you hit the submit button.
- Your sense of humour may not be understood by everyone else on the forum.
- If someone annoys you, don’t respond — report it to the forum administrator
- Avoid controversial topics - racism, sexist comments, harassment, bullying, jokes at religious beliefs, Nazism, pornography, etc , are never acceptable.