TheologyWeb Campus FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Administrator Remark

We realize that many of below rules are highly subjective in nature and will fall within the judgment of the moderators. All references to user-submitted content refer to posts, private messages, shouts, grades, forum-generated emails, or any other such medium, which utilizes the forum software. A violation of these rules will result in a warning, suspension, and/or removal from this site, and there may be rare instances where it is the sole discretion of the Owners that a member be moderated, removed, or denied access outside of any of the listed forum decorum rules.

We do reserve denial of access and banishment for rare cases. Any forum area may expand or restrict these general rules as well as restrict participation to certain viewpoints, so we ask that members read the [READ ME] Topics and Guidelines in each forum area before participating. If you see a violation of these rules, the proper procedure is to hit the “Report Post” in the Post options menu, at which time a moderator will review and take action if appropriate. Let us keep the forum pro-active to these values of making this forum family-oriented and a pleasurable experience for all those involved.

Additionally, we have a forum policy that forum leadership, when they are involved actively in a debate, are just as any other member. There are no repercussions for actions towards them in that capacity that there would not be towards any other members. One should not take their personal opinions on issues outside of our Statement of Faith to be positions of the site as a whole nor should their staff position itself be a debate point in areas other than the Padded Room. This serves to give our staff the freedom to be themselves in debate, and the members the freedom to disagree without fear of offending someone's "position." When a staff member is acting as such, it will be made clear and will not be part of a debate.

Thanks, Your TheologyWeb Overlords! :)

Inappropriate Content

NO user-submitted content (including but not limited to Private Messages, forum-generated emails, post grades, blogs, user notes, or user profiles) shall contain any obscene, vulgar, illegal, sexually-explicit, gratuitously blasphemous, profane, harassing or generally distasteful language, pictures, references, abbreviations or links - partially masking such content with symbols or blanks is also not acceptable. This judgment is in the sole discretion of the Forum Leadership. Because Theologyweb is international in scope, sometimes words that are innocent in one culture may be considered vulgar in another, thus such words may be moderated. Intentionally linking to sites with pornographic content may result in the permanent banning of your user account. If uncertain, please private message a member of leadership for guidance before you post.

ADMINISTRATOR NOTE: As a Christian-run message board, we have always moderated vulgar language. Our philosophy rests on a 3 tiered system of "hard" "soft" and "moderate" words with separate severities for each one. We typically use the US English dialect as our baseline, but we understand some regions have different slang, and will gauge those on a case-by-case basis. Foreign translations of these words will be treated the same. Additionally, changing a few letters to special characters that still leave no doubt as to the actual word are treated as if the word was not inadequately masked.

This alert is not meant to be an exhaustive list of what is acceptable and what isn't, but more a notice to our users on how we determine what requires moderation. As with all of our rules, it may simply come down to moderator discretion.

Hard language
Obviously the most heinous words, such as the F bomb, vulgar slang for the genitals, and any egregious use of "G-D" fall into this category. There is no leeway with these, and they automatically receive the highest punishment with no prior warning required.

Moderate language
References to vulgar sex acts, vulgar expressions for bodily orifices, secretions, or waste, highly inflamatory characterizations of a class of people, such as the "n" word (and others, even if that group uses it themselves), and most regional slang fall into this category. Blatant blasphemy will also fall here. Depending on the severity, punishment may range from a warning to escalating infraction points.

Soft language
These are determined by the context they are being used in. Several words in this category, for example, can be innocuous names for animals in one context and vulgar in another. Others that we decide are vulgar will be moderated. If the word is determined to be vulgar or profane, it will be treated as a moderate infraction and will fall under the punishment described in that section.

Disruption

Disruptive behavior will be moderated at our discretion. There may be certain instances when behavior or comments which are technically allowable will be censored if they are used to such a degree or are of such a nature that they are unnecessarily disruptive and cease to contribute to or assist in meaningful dialog. Behavior which becomes, or can be, disruptive, such as but not limited to, gratuitous name-calling, bullying, stalking, abusive/threatening language, trolling, or blatant rudeness for its own sake, will not be tolerated. Threads which become disruptive may be edited, closed, or moved to the Padded Room where said rules are more relaxed within limits. We also ask that any personal issue with another member be taken up in the Padded Room or privately as well.

Flaming

Many areas of our forum are designated for debates, which at times can get aggressive. Our open debate forums, in which persons holding opposing worldviews are encouraged to participate, are not designed for persons who are easily offended or insist upon Moderator-enforced politeness at all costs. While we strongly ask that our members use discretion and tailor their responses appropriately, we recognize that the nature of spirited debate may include the use of satire, humor, and strong statements of position or faith that may at times offend some.

Strongly inflammatory characterizations, such as allegations of criminal conduct or severe moral turpitude, must be backed up as to the truth of the matter at the time of the assertion. This includes accusations of egregious behavior such as pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, objectophilia, and similar vulgar claims. Such posts may be edited in full at moderator discretion until such substantiation is provided.

All subsequent discussion of the accusation must take place in the Padded Room. Please note that one person's faith position may inform their opinion of the acts or faiths of another - in stating positions of faith, allegations of lying are not appropriate.

Maliciously misquoting someone's post to falsely imply an actual quoted statement of another member may be considered flaming -- whether it is done within the quote tags, within quotation marks, or other means. Infractions will be given if moderators determine the quote was intentionally and spitefully altered, not just humorously or satirically done. Disagreements must be taken the Padded Room.

Lying

We consider a lie to be a poster knowingly and willfully making a statement they know to be untrue. If you call someone a liar you need to substantiate it. In order to substantiate an accusation of lying, it must be shown that the poster in question is stating something they know to be untrue. Opinions or facts that are in dispute should never be referred to as lies. Someone's faith or beliefs should also never be referred to as lying. We will not allow repeated accusations of lying. We will moderate any tossing out the term "liar" - and similar charges - when it is used in place of a response or as a mere insult to denigrate the other person, as judged by the moderators. We will also not allow repeated posts calling someone a liar, accusing them of lying, or claiming their post is a lie. If you wish to challenge the truth of someone's statement, then do so ONLY ONCE in the thread, and substantiate your claim IN THE SAME POST. Further discussion of the matter will only be allowed in the Padded Room.

Spamming and flooding

Do not spam or troll the debate fora. This includes cross-posting (posting the same or similar messages in multiple forum sections) and spamming of Private Messages, Emails, or any other forum generated medium. You may lose privileges to Email or Private Message members if these systems are abused. Threads for the sole purpose of repeatedly posting to increase post counts (referred to as spam threads, though they have nothing to do with advertising) are designated throughout the Campus for such temptations and enjoyment. Also, please do not “flood” any forum area. This means posting or bumping (replying to a thread solely to move it to the top of the forum) multiple threads, particularly threads with the same or very similar topic within a short period of time when your prior activity level and/or the activity level of the area indicates you are not likely to actively participate in each thread. This also includes posting the same and/or very similar threads in multiple fora.

Advertising

Do not post on the board, in Private Message or email any content that are primarily intended for self-promotion or the advertising of any product, website, business, ministry, event or other entities (whether or not such advertising is for free resources) such as a website link without prior consent of a Moderator or Administrator. Advertisements such as a website link including a brief description are welcome in the Campus Life section personal profiles, journals and signature lines as long as they comply with the rules of the site. Whether or not a post is intended as advertisement is solely at the discretion of the moderators. If you are unsure, please contact an area moderator prior to posting.

Plagiarism and Copyrighted Material

Proper citation is required for any posted copyrighted material. Proper citation includes the author, publisher, and link (if available). If the material is found in a book or other off line resource, be sure to include enough information that another person could track down the original source with ease. A general rule of thumb is to use the same citation one would use in a college essay.

Unless permission is given to the poster by the copyright holder to reproduce the material, the length of the posting must not exceed fair use. There is no hard and fast way to decide at what point posting of material is fair use, but this is a general rule of thumb: Do not post any material exceeding the length of 8 sentences or 1/2 the original. Since this is a rule of thumb, we reserve the right to rule each case on a case by case basis.

If you have specific written permission from the copyright holder granting you permission to post the material on TheologyWeb.com you MUST notify all area moderators 24 hours in advance, furnishing them with a copy of the written permission and material to be posted. Failing to do so may result in the material being removed without notice.

Some copyrighted works have clauses that give readers the ability to fully (or in excesive of fair use) repost their material elsewhere under certain circumstances. Even if you think posting such material to TheologyWeb.com is acceptable under the guidelines, you must seek area moderator approval before posting the material. You must wait for the moderator's answer before posting. This requirement will be enforced fresh on every posting unless waived by an Owner.

These rules were written as an effort by TheologyWeb.com to comply with US and international copyright law. As such, there may be cases where we have to restrict postings due to something we did not legally anticipate or when we feel the posting puts TheologyWeb in danger of entering litigation. These rules will be enforced at the sole discretion of TheologyWeb and posts violating them may be removed without notice. If you have any questions, please contact an area moderator before posting material. We'll be more than happy to work with you to workout something fair.

Post Length Considerations

The maximum post length is 24K characters not including quoted material. Do not use multiple posts to circumvent this restriction. Please keep your points concise and limit the number of major points made in a debate/discussion to 1 or 2 per post max as this encourages discourse. Rebuttal posts get undesirably lengthy from both a writer's and a reader's perspective when there are too many points to address. Additionally, please allow the other person to respond to your post before making additional substantive posts and points directed towards that same person (i.e. back-to-back responses to a single post are not allowed.)

There is an edit button available for only 45 minutes after you make your post if you need to make additional comments or changes. It is best to make sure you have said everything you wish to say prior to posting and make use of the "preview post" option to locate any formatting problems. However, please do not make any edits to your post if someone has already replied to it. If you need assistance with this please do not hesitate to contact a moderator or administrator.

Board Etiquette

Please respect the wishes of the thread starter to keep a thread on topic when requested and do not post using all caps, this includes profiles and signatures. There may be times when a member may wish to start a thread in which he or she requests a restriction on who can post in the thread beyond the restrictions imposed by the parent forum. We ask that you honor such requests out of common courtesy. If such a request is not honored, the thread starter can request moderator intervention. If the mod team decides that the request is reasonable, then a notice will be placed in the thread to honor the OP's request. Any subsequent violations will be subject to moderation.

What constitutes a reasonable request is up to the sole discretion of the moderation team. Debates (points for your position) made via weblink are not allowed. Weblinks may be used when a substantive summary of the point being made is posted on the board with a link given for further information regarding your position. Remember responsive arguments are to be as personal as possible, not "cut and paste" dueling articles. This can be avoided by giving one's personal analysis along with an article, or just quoting the specifically relevant portions and showing relevance. An exception is granted for articles or other larger pieces posted to start a thread which may be posted in accordance with our copyright rules without further commentary from the thread starter.

Participant Anonymity/Privacy

In conjunction with our Privacy Statement, please respect the anonymity/privacy of other posters on TheologyWeb. Any member may choose to keep their personal information, such as name and location, from being published on this forum, even if such information is common knowledge elsewhere. Additional personal information, such as occupation, training, background, etc., may be removed if it is not easily obtainable public information elsewhere, can only be referenced by blatantly violating a request for the privacy of a member’s name, or is just generally disruptive to the forum. Once a member invokes this privilege, his reasons for doing so are just as private as the information itself. This section, like the Privacy Statement, can be over-ruled in cases of need to protect TheologyWeb, its members, or other people and/or organizations from intentional or unintentional interference, harm, or deception.

Multiple Screen Names

We highly discourage the use of multiple registered screen names to any one single member, unless approved by an administrator. Screen names may be transferred and changed but we will request that the member choose only 1 name to post with, all other aliases will be removed. Members failing to follow this protocol may be banned without notice. Members who register a new screen name to avoid a ban, moderation or other restriction on their primary account may have their new and primary accounts banned permanently.

Policy on Self Harm/Suicide

Members that give any credible indication of the intent that they may commit suicide or other self harm on any open area owned, operated or sponsored by TheologyWeb (including but not limited to the shoutbox, Paltalk rooms, blogs and the open forums) or brought to the attention of TheologyWeb ownership may be suspended and sent information on organizations that are equipped to handle such expressions of crisis. As a community, we do not have the resources or expertise to adequately counsel members and it is our hope that members expressing such desires seek immediate professional attention. Additionally, as already provided for in our Privacy Statement, TheologyWeb may use any personal information available to attempt to notify a crisis intervention counseling service or other authorities in the member's area.

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