Welcome Members! As a member of the CFC community it is important that you become familiar with the expectations we have for participating and the specific rules our moderating staff enforces. As you read through the following text, please keep in mind that no set of rules or list of inappropriate behaviors can ever be complete enough to show every possible situation. These rules are the guidelines that the staff uses in maintaining order and civility at CFC. While an effort has been made to clarify many situations, the moderators can, and will, interpret these rules and apply them to specific situations as they see fit. We cannot hope to cover every single rule in detail, nor write specific rules to cover every single contextual situation. We are not publishing these rules so that 'bush lawyers' can use them to try to prove that the moderating team or the rules are inconsistent. We have published them so you can better understand why moderators and Administrators do what they do. Moderators are encouraged to use discretion in the application of these rules and should not be expected or assumed to blindly apply "the rules" in each and every case. The rules apply to all aspects of the forum, including Private Messages (with the exception of the English-language rule by mutual consent (below)), Social Groups, Visitor Messages and Tags. New posters to CFC should read all the rules. the New Members: Getting Started section that tells you about how new accounts are restricted until specific thresholds (postcount and days since joining) are met. That section also provides an overview of how to personalize your account. ESSENTIALS: What it means to be a member of our community NEW MEMBERS: Account restrictions and personalization POSTING IN THE FORUMS: Getting started CIVILITY & DISCUSSION: Our expectations of you WHAT'S NOT ALLOWED: FORUM MODERATION: APPEALING MODERATOR ACTIONS: The Rules ESSENTIALS Spoiler : Your agreement with us You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, racist, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of any law. You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this forum. In addition, if you post at this site, what you post is considered to be in the public domain. Should you choose to leave the forum (or behave in a manner that results in your account being banned), any deletion of your account, or the posts you have made (including attachments) is at the sole discretion of the administrators. Minimum age requirement You must be at least 13 years of age to access and use CFC. There is no exception to this requirement. CFC does not knowingly collect any personal information from children under the age of 13 that falls within the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and associated rules. Your rights to Freedom of Speech don't apply here. You are welcome to have opinions. You are welcome to question certain subject matter posted on these forums. You are welcome to dislike a certain post or disagree with it. Though we typically encourage people to express their opinions and ideas, we have the right to delete yours if necessary, should we consider it abusive, inappropriate or not in the best interests of the community. Remember: This is a public forum, and your posts are indexed and can be found by search engines. This means that they can be found by friends, family, employers or the like. Take care with what you post, as CFC cannot guarantee your anonymity on this forum. Your account is for YOU only You may use your account to post your opinions, your thoughts, and your views within the guidelines stated on this page. You may NOT use your account to post for people who are not members or have had their posting permissions removed. You also may not grant others access to your account. Piracy We have zero tolerance for piracy. This includes posting pirated material, linking to pirated material, telling people how to avoid copy-protection etc, or even advocating piracy. We also consider "abandonware" to be piracy, as it has no official legal recognition. Please do not link to abandonware sites. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in removal of your posting privileges Depending on the severity of your violation and the number of times you have previously violated the Forum Guidelines, the Administration may choose to suspend your posting privileges or terminate your account. If you are suspended you will not be able to post on our forums for an amount of time to be determined by the Administration. Multiple accounts are not permitted Create one account, and keep it. Exception: A temporary additional account is allowed to allow communication to resolve access issues with your principal account. It will be merged into your principal account when access has been restored. If you wish to change your user name for whatever reason, please contact an admin. Moderation Moderators are identified by the various tags under their user names. It is their job to keep order within the forums and respond to inappropriate posting and advertising. The fastest way to get moderation attention is to report a post. All reported posts go to a specific subforum where any moderator can see and respond to them. Please do not respond to inappropriate posts or post in obvious spam advertising threads. Just report them. We reserve the right to change these rules and policies at any time It is YOUR responsibility to read announcements regarding rules and policy changes. Ignorance is no excuse. Announcements are located above the threads list table inside each forum. Specific policies for a specific forum may be posted in sticky threads at the top of each forum. It is your responsibility to read these and be aware of any changes. NEW MEMBERS Spoiler : New member Restrictions Newly registered members may not use signatures, e-mail forum members, post visitor messages, use the private messaging system or join or create social groups, until they have been members for 5 days AND have at least 5 posts. Also uploads to the modding file database have to get approved by one administrator, unless they have been a member for 30 days AND have at least 30 posts. Postcount titles & avatars Each poster has a title and an optional avatar image shown below his/her username. The default titles are Chieftain, Warlord, Prince, King, Emperor, and Deity. The minimum postcounts required are listed below: Chieftain (Minimum Posts: 0) Warlord (Minimum Posts: 100) Prince (Minimum Posts: 300) King (Minimum Posts: 600) Emperor (Minimum Posts: 1000) Deity (Minimum Posts: 2000) You can also put a picture, or avatar, under your name. There are hundreds of Civish avatars for you to choose from. If you have 30 posts AND have been registered for 30 days, you can give yourself a custom title and a custom non-animated avatar. The dimension limit of custom avatars is 70x70 pixels and size limit is 4 KB. If you have 100 posts AND have been registered for 100 days, you can give yourself a custom non-animated avatar up to 100x100 pixels and ~6 kB in size. If you have 300 posts AND have been registered for 300 days, you can give yourself a custom non-animated avatar up to 100x100 pixels and 10 kB in size.[/color] You can change your title or avatar in your Personal Details page Keep your signature brief This forum has a signature feature that allows you to "sign" your posts with a customized block of text. The text may include links to other sites (as long as they are within the forum rules) and emoticons. No derogatory references to other members, spoiler tags, quote tags, or youtube tags are allowed in signatures. Signatures are limited to 5 lines of regular (size 2) text. Using smaller text (size 1) allows 7 lines of text. Larger text (size 3) allows 3 lines of text. No text size larger than size 3 should be used. The number of lines for any text size includes blank lines and room used by emoticons and is evaluated at 1024x768 resolution. Images, aside from this sites emoticons, are not allowed. Zero tolerance on piracy Posting links to warez sites and program cracks (including no-CD crack) are not allowed on the forum. Anyone found guilty of participating in piracy activity on the forum will be punished. Please note that "abandonware" has no legal status, and for the purposes of this rule, we consider linking to abandonware as piracy. Behave as you would in a public location This forum is no different than a public place. Behave yourself and act like a decent human being. If you're unable to do so, you're not welcome here and will be made to leave. POSTING IN THE FORUMS Spoiler : Starting a new thread Creating a thread carries a responsibility and we hold opening posts (OP) to a higher standard than other posts. CFC is primarily a discussion forum, and topics posted should be such that decent discussion is possible. If you are presenting a news article for discussion, you are required to note what specific aspect you wish to discuss (just posting "discuss" or similar is insufficient). In posting a news or media article, you are strongly encouraged to also post a link to the source of the article. If you do provide a link to an article or story, please quote a relevant section of the link that summarizes the discussion you want to start. Occasional 'light' topics such as "what is your favorite ..." are tolerated, but even these threads should be presented in a way to promote discussion (such as asking posters to explain their answer). A thread that supports 'closed' answers or mostly single-word or single-line responses may be closed as spam or postcount (pc) threads. If your opening post in a thread doesn't meet the requirements of a decent discussion, the thread is likely to get closed and you will be infracted. Please state clearly what you want to discuss, why it might be interesting and your opinion on the matter. Please also check whether there is already a current thread on the same topic before you open a new one. Duplicate threads are usually merged and the one first started will appear in the list of threads. Post in the correct forum The forums are well-organised, and we want them to stay that way. Ensure that the thread topic you post is relevant to the forum you are posting it. If you're unsure, ask a moderator. Please note that in the Creation and Customization forums, the "main" forums are where questions are to be posted. The various sub-forums are not for questions. Spelling and grammar English is not everyone's first language. Not everyone has perfect language skills. As such, don't comment on other peoples' ability to spell words correctly or construct sentences. If you cannot understand their meaning, you may let them know in a nice manner. The forum is an English language forum Threads must be posted in English. If you need to post a short phrase in another language, provide an English translation with it. If it is found that you have posted something in a language other than English which breaks the rules (e.g., the bad language rule, or flaming), you will be infracted for it. Other languages are allowed in signatures and user titles etc, however a translation should be provided in this thread. There are some threads to help people learn other languages. English translations are required in these as well. 1337-sp34K (or variants) is not considered English language. "U" instead of "you" is mildly tolerated, but some grumpy old-fashioned moderators may be annoyed by it. Images and file attachments Currently we have the [img ] tag and the file attachment feature enabled. For files under 500 KB, you may use the attachment feature to attach the file. In addition, you can use Easy Upload to upload bigger files to the file server. You can help free up valuable forum server space and also improve forum performance by deleting any attachments you no longer need at the attachment management section of your User CP. If you need to attach images often, we recommend using these easy to use free image hosting services: PhotoBucket or ImageShack. For temporary hosting of large files or if you need to send a big file to another member, you can use free services like Rapidshare, Megaupload or similar ones, which allow you to upload files of differerent sizes (depending on host, up to 1 GB). Spam Spam is posting something that does not make a significant contribution to the discussion at hand. The forums are discussion forums, and it is therefore expected that posters will post in a way that contributes to discussion. It is also expected that new threads will promote discussion. Moderators may periodically allow some lighter or more frivolous threads, but this will be at their discretion. Posting isolated links without meaningful poster input as to the value of such a link does not contribute to the discussion as will be considered spam. There is a lower tolerance for spam in threads where there is a good discussion taking place. Moderators have zero tolerance for threads that are really spammy (eg. post a number, post a letter of the alphabet) or which are started merely as a vehicle to troll, flame or chat. Quoting other posters or sites You are responsible for everything in your post. If you quote something that someone else has posted, you are responsible for that content as well as your own. If that content is offensive, you may find yourself infracted for it, even though you were not the original poster. Quoting someone and changing their quote to change the meaning of what they posted is acceptable, provided it is made very clear that you have changed the quote, and what part you changed. Quoting someone only to agree with them may be tolerated depending upon the specific forum or subforum, but please try to add your own thoughts (ie. Don't just post "I agree" or similar). If you persistently post such non contributions to the discussion, your post may well be considered spam by the mods and be deleted or infracted. Copycat threads We like a variety of discussion. Periodically, a thread topic may inspire someone to post a similar topic. If too many threads on very similar topics are made, moderators may choose to limit the numbers of these (for example the "ask a..." threads). Non Discussion Threads Outside of the civilization forums there are forums where non discussion threads are allowed under specific rules and conditions. Guidelines and rules for such threads are posted within the subforums or threads involved. Theses threads will be archived to a non-postcount forum once they reach 1000 posts. Picture threads There are several picture threads that are periodically renewed. They will be archived to a non-postcount forum once they reach 1000 posts. For each of these individual threads, please read the rules in the opening post. Discussion is allowed in these threads, provided it is meaningful discussion of the pictures posted. Off-topic discussions are not permitted. Forum Games The Forum Games subforum is the place where a variety of game threads are allowed. Such games are not to be run outside of the Forum Games subforum. This is a no postcount forum. Elitism and personal threads In the forums, we expect everyone to treat other posters equally and fairly. As such, threads that suggest that some members are better, funnier, more popular etc, and threads that discuss specific forum members, either positively or negatively are not allowed. Periodically, threads that discuss forum members or attributes of forum members that are 'neutral' (neither positive or negative) may be allowed. An example from the past has been to post pictures that you associate with certain members. It is strongly recommended that you seek moderator approval before posting these types of threads. Moderators may make them 'conditional' (for example, that people have to give their permission before they can be discussed in the thread). Such threads will be closely monitored, and trolling and flaming are not tolerated in them. Birthday threads are permitted, but only for people who are regularly active in the particular forum that the birthday thread is posted in. That means that they must have been members for at least a number of months, and contributed a number of posts / content to that forum. Occasionally, threads where an individual wants to discuss something from their personal life may be permitted. It is recommended that you ask a moderator first and even more strongly recommended that you take care in posting personal information about yourself. Banter and Chat 'Banter' between 'friends' is treated no differently from any other forum posts. For example, if you flame a 'friend' and think that because you don't really 'mean it' then it is OK, it will still be considered as flaming and dealt with accordingly. Moderators do not have the time, or inclination, to check with each person whether they are offended by the flaming, and it would also result in the appearance that the rules are not applied consistently. If you want to "chat" with another member (or members), please do not do so in one of the threads. Instead, start a conversation. CIVILITY & DISCUSSION Spoiler : A primary goal of CivFanatics is to promote interesting and useful discussion of topics that interest our members. Not being civil in your posts will result in you being infracted by the mods and could result in bans from the site or forum if you continue to post in such a manner after having been told to stop. Trolling, flaming, name calling and insulting are not permitted. Direct threats of violence to other posters, sincere or not, will likely result in an immediate ban. Identifying flaming and trolling posts can be a very subjective decision depending upon the context. At CFC our moderators make the call on what is acceptable and what is not. Flaming Flaming is essentially posting something that insults, or is intended to insult, another poster. Flaming is not limited to only direct insults. Indirect insults, such as posts which characterize an opinion, a person or a group of people negatively are also not tolerated. Examples: You are an idiot. This is a direct insult, and is not allowed. Anyone who thinks [related to opinion poster is debating issue] is an idiot. This is an indirect insult, and is not allowed. Only an idiot would say that. Again, this is an indirect insult, and is not allowed. Everyone defending this is an idiot. Again, in context this is an indirect insult, and is not allowed. Flaming is generally limited to forum members. "Flaming" of celebrities or public figures etc. is generally tolerated, provided that the aim of this is not specifically to annoy supporters of that celebrity on the forums. Trolling Trolling is posting something with the intent to annoy or to generate a negative reaction from other people. It can be interpreted as anything for which it is reasonably foreseeable (in the moderators' opinion) that someone will react to it. It can be a very grey issue, and moderators will use their discretion and judgment. Examples of things that are generally considered trolling are as follows: --Extending a negative issue to a wide group of people. For example, if one member of a group, religion, political persuasion or ethnicity does something bad, a post that implies that all members of this group, religion, political persuasion or ethnicity are similar, this is considered trolling. -- Posting a very negative topic or post about a certain group. E.g,. "Why are all (race, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation) stupid / fat / boring" etc. -- Discussing the person, and not the topic. Ad hominems are generally not tolerated. We want people to focus on the discussion topic, not on the people discussing it. As a guideline, if your post only discusses the person (eg. their opinions, their background etc.) and is not related to the topic, you may be considered to be trolling. Discussing the poster, when civil and directly relevant to the topic, may be tolerated. --Using personal information gained about people to attack them, or to get them to react in an unrelated thread. E.g. if you know that someone has gone to a certain university, works a certain profession, or is a certain religion, making oblique comments about this may be considered trolling (even if you don't mention the posters specifically). -- Mocking someone by copying their posting style, thread topics, spelling, language etc. --Posting a thread on a controversial topic, but not posting anything that is really a point for discussion. --Generally being rude. Being overly critical, or expressing your opinions in a rude manner. --Passing comments on the style with which another poster posts, or the quality of their posts - stick to discussing the points they are making. In short, be civil, polite and discuss the topic. If you disagree with someone's opinion, you are free to state why you disagree with it, but you must be polite in doing so. You should not pass negative judgment on the quality of other peoples' arguments (e.g., referring to their opinions or posts as 'clueless', 'moronic', 'ignorant', 'stupid', 'fail'; etc). Some leeway is allowed to discuss the quality of peoples' posts or what you believe their intent is, provided it is not rude or abrasive ("Nope, you haven't convinced me", "You should post some evidence to support your position"). WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM BANNED? Spoiler : Banning a poster, whether it be for a 3 days or 3 months, is our way of letting you know that your behavior has continued to be outside the rules. Most bans happen because a poster has accumulated enough active points to have earned a ban of some length. Posters should realize that in most cases, they have not been banned for a specific issue, but for the cumulative impact of a number of issues. There are times, though, when a mod or mods will make the decision to ban a user on the spot, and the moderators reserve this right. Spam bots get this treatment without hesitation. Serious misbehaving can earn it for a poster. Once a poster is banned and for the duration of the ban the following happen: --As a banned user you lose your ability to post in the forums. --Your signature and avatar will disappear. --You will not be able to see any posted red or yellow infraction cards except your own. Please note this and do not bug us with "I got banned and they didn't even get a warning" type posts. The chances are "they" did get a warning, but you can't see it as you are banned! When your ban ends, all will return to normal. WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED Spoiler : Advertising Advertising is not allowed in any forum. Commercial advertising will be deleted on-sight, and the poster will receive a permanent ban. Commercial advertising, even in your signature, is not permitted. This advertising policy extends to posting in or starting a thread in one forum, so as to entice people to visit a thread in another forum. If you want to do this, then place the advertisement in your signature. External links related to the thread topic - such as to other history forums, or news articles - are acceptable. If you have a civilization-related link to advertise, you can place one thread about it in our Other Civ Related Sites forum, or you may advertise it in your signature. For people wanting to advertise other things of interest to Civ players, you must receive permission from an admin first. Inappropriate content This is a family-friendly forum. We do not want, for example, people coming here to talk about Civ and being exposed to (in particular) sexual content. While we tolerate some discussion of adult issues, we do not permit discussions that are explicit. Advocating cruelty, violence, hateful or illegal actions may well fall under the category of inappropriate content and be deleted or infracted. Inappropriate content can refer to other topics as well that are very context related. Moderators may at any time close threads or delete content that they deem inappropriate or not in keeping with the purposes of this site or of a specific forum. EDIT: Additional Specific standards of Google, our hosts main advertiser. Images against the Google standards may not be posted.: We generally operate with a one-click rule as well: You may not link directly (one click) to any page that contains content that is not allowed at this forum. This includes links to inappropriate website, even if the landing page does not itself contain inappropriate content. An exception exists for some forms of inappropriate language (see below). Inappropriate Language Our basic philosophy is that there is nothing that anyone needs to say on our forums that requires them to swear/cuss. If you can't get your point across without swearing, you will be infracted. This forum is considered a family-friendly forum. We have an autocensor which will automatically remove many swear/cuss/bad words, but not necessarily all. Just because a word isn't caught by the autocensor, doesn't give you permission to use it. Do not rely on the autocensor to do your thinking for you. Finding ways to get around the ban on swearing or using foul language, whether or not it is caught be the autocensor, may result in an infraction. If you intentionally bypass the autocensor (i.e. using various tricks so that the autocensor does not remove your word) and the meaning / intent of the word can be easily interpreted, you will be infracted. You may use a string of symbols such as #!%&*#@ to express yourself, as long as no specific meaning can be derived from the combination of symbols or how the symbols fit with the English language text around it. Acceptable: $%&$#@*#^ [note that in acceptable use, there is no surrounding context from which the precise meaning of the symbols can be inferred, just symbols] Not acceptable: *%#& you! You $ ^ * @ # ( $ % bastard How can you be so %#&*@# stupid? Etc. These language rules also apply to words in pictures and quotes, and words in non-English languages. However, although we generally operate with a one-click rule (see above), an exception exists for some forms of inappropriate language. You may link to a website or page containing inappropriate language, so long as it is not gratuitous or completely out of step with the family-friendly nature of the forums. Gratuitousness will be determined by the moderators on a case by case basis, but as a general guide, any inappropriate language should be incidental to the linked content, or in keeping with a spirit of civil and productive discussion. Any link to a website or page containing inappropriate language must clearly be marked as 'NSFW'. Failure to mark the link in such a way will result in the application of the standard one-click rule. This 'inappropriate language exception' to the one-click rule extends to embedded videos, and images placed within spoiler tags. Although you may link to content containing inappropriate language, you may not post a quote containing any inappropriate language; the text of your post must still be free of inappropriate language. Moderators may choose to simply delete posts or warn for minor offences (depending on context) rather than infract. People who insist on pushing the boundaries or moderation patience will not get such leniency. Severe offences may result in an immediate ban. Posters who find inappropriate language in a post are encouraged to report the post. Piracy We have zero tolerance for piracy. This includes posting pirated material, linking to pirated material, telling people how to avoid copy-protection etc, or even advocating piracy. We also consider "abandonware" to be piracy, as it has no official legal recognition. Please do not link to abandonware sites. Posting about Illegal Activities We do not allow people to post anything that advocates illegal activities (such as illicit drug use). We also, obviously, do not permit people to post things in violation of the law, particularly US law. We do not allow people to advocate for the death of anybody. In particular, DO NOT make anything that could even remotely be construed as a death threat (joking or otherwise) to anyone, or encourage them to harm others or themselves. This is illegal, and will result in an immediate ban. Threats of violence will also result in a ban. This applies to PMs and visitor messages as well. Respect other Civ sites We have friendly relationships with other Civ fansites and would like to keep it that way. Being disrespectful towards them or whining about happenings at another Civ site is not permitted.