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Forums Infraction System

Introduction

Whilst the AFA Forums provide near-unlimited freedom of expression, there are a number of responsibilities that the forum members will need to adopt to ensure that their activities do not negatively impact the forum environment. Occasionally, some can confuse "freedom of speech / expression" with "freedom of access to a specific audience". These are two entirely different things.

There are many systems in place on the “internets” which address the rules and responsibilities of those who post on forums. Some are effective and some are not. The key comes down to the community itself and what culture it champions within itself. This system described below is designed with the protection and propagation of this culture as we move forward. The vast majority of members will see little difference as their own posting activities do not warrant any actions. You may however notice that the very occasional troublemaker will seem to disappear for a day or so in increasing lengths. This is the result of infraction points accumulating.

The concept of utilising an “infraction” system as opposed to a “banning” system is simple. It is far more objective in its process. This infraction system will automatically attribute a point value for each "infraction". These points will accumulate until they expire at a specific number of days. Infractions may or may not have been preceded by an official warning.

Our AFA Forum infraction system will be structured like this. We have determined that there are three core categories of activities we wish to have moderated. They are,

Procedural: This category is where there is simply a rule in place as a standard procedure regarding how you engage in your posting activities.

  • Procedural - Create new account to circumvent suspension
  • Procedural - Creating multiple sock puppet accounts
  • Procedural - Ignore clear mod direction
  • Procedural - Malicious links in post/signatures
  • Procedural - Porn bot
  • Procedural - Posting illegal material
  • Procedural - Repeated misuse of report button
  • Procedural - Repeated thread bombing
  • Procedural - Signature link without admin / mod permission
  • Procedural - Spam advertisements
  • Procedural - Spam bot
  • Procedural - Unreferenced or spam links

Conversational: This category deals primarily with how we engage with each other.

  • Conversational - Obvious trolling
  • Conversational - Repeated misrepresentations
  • Conversational - Repeated preaching / proselytising
  • Conversational - Repeated refusal to accept burden of proof
  • Conversational - Repeated refusal to acknowledge specific questions
  • Conversational - Repeated refusal to provide support for assertions
  • Conversational - Repeated use of demonstrated logical fallacies
  • Conversational - Repeated use of demonstrated unreliable source
  • Conversational - Repeated use of scripture as authority without demonstrating God exists
  • Conversational - Repeated use of the "Gish Gallop"

Cultural: In my opinion, this is by far the most important category. It is the culture of a forum that gives it a “feel”, a sense of belonging, an environment of support, a safe haven, a home. It is this class of infraction which are the most serious as they have the greatest impact of the freedoms, fun and safety of others. We need to all be vigilant to protect the culture of the forum.

  • Cultural - Discriminatory/bigoted posting content - disability
  • Cultural - Discriminatory/bigoted posting content - gender
  • Cultural - Discriminatory/bigoted posting content - race
  • Cultural - Discriminatory/bigoted posting content - sexuality
  • Cultural - Harassment/threats of harassment
  • Cultural - Hate speech
  • Cultural - Privacy violation
  • Cultural - Repeated anti-equality themes
  • Cultural - Repeated personal abuse
  • Cultural - Threats of violence

As with most systems of this type, as new conditions arise, the system may be modified to accommodate these conditions / instances.

Infraction points

Moderators will have the ability to attribute “infraction points” against a particular post. When this occurs, the member responsible will receive a notification of the infraction. These points have an expiry period. As points accumulate, they may breach one of the infraction point suspension thresholds. Only the greater threshold will take effect in the event of multiple thresholds being breached. Suspensions result in a restriction on ability to post on the forum for the prescribed period of time. The completion of a suspension is independent of the infraction point expiry date. As such, a suspension can occur and be served and on return, another minor infraction can cause the member to pass another infraction threshold resulting in another (usually longer) suspension. This system is designed to penalise those who are not acting as good community citizens in a consistent manner.

Please note: A single post can result in multiple infractions which have an accumulated point value.

All infractions are the result of consultation of multiple moderators. A single moderator will not infract in isolation except under unusual circumstances and this infraction will then be discussed with other moderators once they become available. Supermod and admin consultation can result in higher prescribed infraction point penalties where they are deemed appropriate.

Infraction point suspension thresholds

The following are the infraction point accumulation thresholds and their associated suspension periods. There are two broad categories,

  • Short term suspensions
  • 10 points 1 day suspension
  • 20 points 2 day suspension
  • 30 points 3 day suspension
  • 40 points 5 day suspension
  • 50 points 7 day suspension
  • 60 points 10 day suspension
  • 70 points 14 day suspension
  • 80 points 21 day suspension
  • 100 points 30 day suspension
  • Long term suspensions
  • 150 points 90 day suspension
  • 200 points 180 day suspension
  • 250 points 1 year suspension
  • 300 points 2 year suspension
  • 500 points permanent ban

Warnings

Moderators, in the capacity of their role have the option to issue a “warning” to a member. Warnings have no infractions points attributed to them but should still be considered serious. It means that if you fail to take their direction and continue to proceed on your expected course, you will potentially receive one of more infractions.

Dispute resolution process.

In cases where an infraction is given and the member disputes the merit of the infraction, simply Click the contact us button at the bottom of the forum. An email is sent to forum.admin@atheistfoundation.org.au

AFA Forum Administration and Moderation Teams


General Forum Usage

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Reading and Posting Messages

How do I format my posts and messages?

When posting messages you may wish to include some formatting such as bold text, italic text and underlined text.

Adding formatting to your post can be done in two ways:

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Clickable controls are available in the Standard and Enhanced WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors. The difference between these is that the standard editor will show the BB code in your message and be processed when it is displayed. The enhanced WYSIWYG editor will show your message as it will be displayed while you are typing.

To use these, simply click the button, for example the B (bold) button and then type to get bold text. Click the button again to stop using that formatting. You can also highlight text that you have already typed then click the formatting button to format existing text.

BB code is a special set of codes similar to HTML that can be used in posts to the board. To see the full list of BB code tags that can be used on this site and examples of their use, click here.


BB Code List

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