The rules and etiquette of the Beat My Debt forum
By Beat My Debt
#24 This document is designed to clarify various responsibilities of Beat My Debt forum members. Please read it and become familiar with it. It's terms are retroactive and agreed by team and group members.

1. Forum Rules and Etiquette

1. The purpose of the Beat My Debt forum is to provide access to expert views about personal and corporate debt topics. It is also designed to promote discussion regarding the different forum topics and allow views to be aired which may be similar or opposed. As such respect for all Forum Member’s views must be shown as long as they do not fall in contravention of the rules and etiquette listed below.

2. The security of our forum members is our prime consideration. Please don't give out telephone numbers or email addresses on the open forum which could seriously jeopardise your security. Members consistently giving out telephone numbers and e-mail addresses without the express permission of Beat My Debt may have their posts deleted and will be given a warning

3. There are a number of different forum topics active at any one time on the Beat My Debt forum. Posts must be made in the relevant forum topic. Please read the forum descriptions before posting. Members consistently posting to the wrong forum may be given a warning (see policing below).

4. Members must post in a way that is respectful of other user’s views and suggestions. Responding to users in an abusive way will not be tolerated and will lead to a warning. Forum posts which are deemed to be unkind, judgemental, obviously irrelevant to the topic or which contains really offensive words or jokes will be deleted.

5. Members must not act as “back seat moderators”. If members identify a problem which they believe contravenes something in this policy document they should bring this to the attention of a member of the Moderator Team. Please use the “post report” feature to report posts. Do not respond to such topics yourself. Members who constantly “act” as moderators will be given a warning.

6. This forum is aimed at a general audience. Posting pornographic or generally offensive text, images, links, etc. will not be tolerated and will lead to a warning.

7. Members are asked to respect the copyright of other users, sites, media, etc. If users are found to be re-printing material without permission, they will receive a warning and their post will be removed.

8. Members should respect the bandwidth of other users and sites. The use of inline () image tags pointing to data stored on third party systems for which the user has not received permission to link to may be removed.

9. Members should post in a way which is consistent with "normal writing". Members must remember that the forum is for the benefit of all and so posts must be legible. That is users should not post excessive numbers of emoticons, shorthand, large, small or coloured text, text. Similarly users should not SHOUT or use excessive punctuation (e.g. ! and ?) in topic titles or posts. Users consistently abusing this will be warned.

10. Members should use an appropriate, descriptive subject when posting a new topic. Examples of bad subjects include; "Help me!", "I'm stuck!", "I've got a Problem!", etc. Examples of good subjects include; "I am Struggling to Maintain My IVA Payments", "Is Bankruptcy as bad as it Sounds?", etc.

11. Spam is not tolerated on the Beat My Debt forum under any circumstances. Spam includes advertising your professional services or other more general advertising links without the express permission of Beat My Debt. Professional experts are however invited to post their web link to provide a point of reference. Encouraging members to use alternative forums is not permitted and is also considered spam. Users posting spam will be warned and their post removed. Members may not promote or show off their sites through their own posts. Such posting constitutes spam and may lead to a warning.

12. The Beat My Debt administration team reserve the right to edit, remove or put on moderation queue any post at any time. Please note that currently any very first post is automatically placed in the moderation queue and will be approved/disapproved according to these present Rules and Etiquette

13. The above forum rules where applicable also apply to the private messaging facility made available via the forum. Abuse of the private messaging system may lead to warnings (as above) and/or the revocation of private messaging.

2. Signatures

1. Signatures may contain up to five lines of text (of small or normal size) and/or one image, valid combinations include; a single image of no more than 60px high, 468px wide and 6KiB (6144 Bytes) in size. Signatures containing an image this large may also include one line of small size text. Signatures containing an image of 30px high may include up to three lines of small size text or two lines of normal size text. Images of 15px height or less may allow up to three lines of normal size text or four lines of small size text. Animated images are not allowed. Text sizes should be between 75% and 100% (small and normal). Text in signatures is subject to the same conditions as posts with respect decency, emoticons, and so forth.

2. Links in signatures are permitted to a maximum of four unique pages or sites. Linked sites may be commercial in nature. You may not link to porn or political, racist or other similar hate sites. Links are included in signature size limits.

3. Users abusing these rules will be warned.

3. Avatars

1. Users are permitted to utilise a link to one of their own avatars (subject to previous points on misuse of bandwidth). User defined avatars are to be no larger than 120 pixels square, contain no animation, contain no image which attempts to portray the user as having an official status here (e.g. mimicking ranks or copying avatars of team members), may not exceed 12KiB (12288 Bytes) in file size and have a consistently high availability (i.e. links to images on slow servers or those prone to failure may be removed).

2. Avatars are subject to the same conditions as posts with respect decency, and so forth.

3. Users abusing these rules will be warned and/or may lose their avatar privileges

4. Policing

1. Beat My Debt operates a three strike policy. Members will be warned a maximum of three times for any and all offences. If the Member continues to offend after three warnings, Beat My Debt reserves the right to ban them from the Forum.

2. Arguing with the Beat My Debt administration team after having received a warning will lead to an immediate additional warning. Should this exceed three strikes a ban may be put in place as above.

3. Any attempt to circumvent a ban is not allowed. Circumvention includes re-registering or using an already registered account under a non-banned username. Other examples include changing IP addresses, using a new email account or other action that can be taken to evade moderator action to hide your identity as the owner of the sanctioned account.

4. Permanent bans are a last resort and thought is given before implementing them. While Beat My Debt may consider lifting permanent bans from time to time this is a rare occurrence.