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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:55 pm 
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LAWS AND CUSTOMS in the HALL OF FIRE

This thread contains our Laws and Customs:
• Our Mission (first post)
• Our Operating Principles (first post)
• Member Rights and Responsibilities (second post)
• Our By-Laws (third post)
• Our Policies (fourth and later posts)
__________________________________________________________

OUR MISSION

Hall of Fire is an internet community formed to discuss the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and other topics of interest in the Arts, Literature, Politics, and Philosophy. We are open to the public. Our goal is to maintain an atmosphere of quiet and courtesy so that serious discussion can flourish among people with diverse ideas and perspectives.

OUR OPERATING PRINCIPLES

The site is open to anyone 13 years of age and older who has a serious interest in discussing topics of artistic and intellectual merit.

The co-founders of the site were Voronwë_the_Faithful and Jnyusa. Jnyusa resigned effective Sunday, August 10, 2008. Voronwë is currently responsible for any final decisions, if needed, regarding operating policy and its enforcement. On August 4, 2015, Primula Baggins was appointed "Chief Shirriff" responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the board.

The site administrator of record is Voronwë_the_Faithful. He is responsible for the legality of our content and its compliance with the TOS of our server, in partnership with Primula. That TOS represents the ultimate rules of the site.

Those who worked together to create the site are Voronwe_the_Faithful, Jnyusa, Whistler, Primula Baggins, truehobbit, Cerin, Sassafras, and Athrabeth. nerdanel and WampusCat serve as the current Shirriffs, assisting Primula in making decisions about the everyday maintenance of the site and enforcement of its policies and procedures. As of August 4, 2015, Voronwë is no longer an active shirriff and will not be involved in the every day enforcement of the board's policies and procedures; however, he will be available to assist with maintenance of the site, and will continue to have a role regarding enforcement of policies and procedures with regard to any violations of these laws and customs that may require consideration of an indefinite ban or other posting restriction.

To avoid the arbitrary enforcement of policies and procedures, we have in place Member Rights and Responsibilities and By-Laws that we ask all members to read and uphold.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:56 pm 
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MEMBER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1. We ask each member to register under one screen name only.

2. English is the dominant language of the site but dialogues may take place in any language. If non-English conversations are embedded in English language threads, we ask members to be courteous by providing translations if they are requested.

3. Members are required to conduct themselves in accordance with our by-laws.

4. We prefer that members practice self-moderation by extending respect and courtesy to one another without interference from our administrators. But we will sanction all discourteous behavior by editing posts and/or restricting the posting rights of individuals, whether discourtesy takes the form of spamming and dominating a conversation to the exclusion of others, posting insulting comments, persistently using netspeak, or demonstrating a general intolerance for the ideas and sensibility of others.

5. Members may volunteer to serve as Shirriffs (administrators) as provided in our by-laws, and may ask for a review of any decisions made by our Shirriffs, as provided in our by-laws.

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OUR BY-LAWS

Section 1: Accountability for Decisions

Shirriffs have the technical capability of administrators and are accountable for maintaining the tone of the board inside the threads, including but not limited to:
• editing posts that violate the by-laws
• sending explanations or warnings, if necessary, to posters whose posts have been edited
• moving threads to appropriate forums
• locking threads with inappropriate content, or which the thread starter has asked to have locked
• deleting threads with inappropriate content and no redeeming artistic or intellectual merit (generally threads are not deleted if they contain some genuine conversation)
• creation, removal and proper use of forums
• deciding whether or not a member has violated the by-laws
• hearing appeals from members regarding disputes with other members or disagreement with shirriff decisions


Shirriffs are also responsible for everyday maintenance, such as setting the forum permissions of members, setting ranks and any other routine work that is done from the administrator panel.

Section 2: Prohibited Activities and Associated Penalties

Indefinite Ban:
• spamming the board with ads
• pornographic or violent pictures or speech, or any postings that transcend common decency so as to shock or dismay
• hacking the board
• deliberate introduction of a virus to the board, or to its members via email
• deliberate breach of copyright law
• using the board to solicit the participation of members in illegal activities.
• deliberately posting personal, real life information about another member such that their privacy is compromised
• posting any personal information about a minor (under the age of 18 )
• repeated violation of the by-laws coupled with argumentative contesting of decisions and/or an overall refusal to comply with the tone of the board, including but not limited to milder forms of the infractions listed above. A poster's previous history of hostility towards the administrators of other messageboards may be considered, but no standing member of the community will be banned without warnings about their behavior on this board.
• Plagiarism is strictly prohibited. Posting anything that is taken from anywhere else on the internet, or from any other published material, without clearly attributing the material to its source (or, if the source is unknown, stating that it is taken from an unknown source), or otherwise making it appear that material written by someone else was written by a member here in anyway will not be tolerated. The first time a member is found to have done this they will be given a warning that if it happens again, they will receive an indefinite ban. The second time a member is found to have done this they will be indefinitely banned, with no exceptions. Minor changes in wording of material that otherwise is clearly taken from another source will not excuse this type of conduct.

Temporary Restriction of Posting Rights:
[Note: Depending on the situation, restrictions could be applied to the full board, PM rights and/or particular individual forums.]
• using PMs or email to harass any member of the board, including shirriffs or marshals
• failure to follow established procedure for lodging complaints against other members or contesting the decisions of shirriffs or marshals
• persistent personal attacks or abusive language toward members and/or some group to which they belong
• persistent vulgarity or profanity
• persistent violations of the guidelines for posting in political discussions in the Lasto Beth Lammen forum

Posts will be Edited and Warnings May Be Issued:
• remarks targeting nationality, ethnicity, native language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age
• instances of gratuitous obscenity, vulgarity or profanity
• instances of abusive language toward another member
• attacks of a personal nature against either an individual or the group to which they belong
• gratuitous or juvenile sexual references other than mild innuendo or clever word play;
• persistent use of netspeak or spam posts as a substitute for conversation
• posting multiple threads on the same topic in a single forum so as to dominate conversation in that forum
• advertisement of products for personal gain
• posting tasteless or offensive pictures (signature or avatar pictures are held to a higher standard than pictures that appear in a single post)
• exposing the members to viruses through negligence;
• interfering with other members’ threads in the Nan Elmoth forum;
• posting anything with the clear intention of causing distress in another member;
• any other unreasonably discourteous or insensitive conduct.

Section 3: Conflict Among Members or Between Members and Sheriffs

A. Among Members
Members who find themselves in personal conflict with one another are asked to move their personal dispute voluntarily to the forum entitled Nan Elmoth. If a personal conflict is disrupting a thread and interfering with other posters’ enjoyment, the shirriffs may move the necessary posts themselves and ask posters to continue their argument in Nan Elmoth.

Observers may not interfere with threads in that forum except by permission of the posters engaged in the conflict; and uninvited posts can be removed by a shirriff.

Members who observe a violation of the by-laws but are not personally involved should contact a shirriff by PM or email. Your complaint will be acknowledged, though the problem may be resolved privately.

B. Between Members and Shirriffs
Members who disagree with the decision of a shirriff who has edited their post or moved or locked their thread should contact Shirriffs by PM or by email, or they may start a thread in the forum entitled Nan Elmoth and express their complaint. This should be done within seven days of the shirriff's action so that the thread in question is current.

At least three shirriffs will review the text edited from the post, or consider the appropriateness of the thread’s location or content, and either uphold or overturn the decision of the shirriff who took the initial action. They will give the explanation for their decision publicly in the thread started by the member. (That thread might be moved into the Ring of Doom if privacy is preferred.) Text or posts that have been edited are copied into the administrative forum so that they can be restored if necessary. The copy is deleted when the issue is concluded.

Using a discussion thread to protest the action of Shirriffs is a violation of our by-laws.

C. Enforcement of Bans and Restriction of Posting Rights
If it is determined that a member has committed a violation that merits an indefinite ban or a restriction of posting rights, a marshal will contact the poster privately and inform them that action is about to be taken. The poster will be confined to the forum entitled Ring of Doom for 48 hours before any other penalty is executed. During that time, if the poster wishes to speak with the shirriffs about the violation, for the purpose of resolving any possible misunderstandings, the poster may request a hearing by starting a thread in that forum. All current shirriffs will review the poster’s statements and will make a final decision, taking into account any mitigating circumstances and any other information they consider relevant.

Section 4: Other Policies

• In some cases, the shirriffs or marshals may wish to poll the membership before making a decision, or put to member discussion the suggestions of individual members. All such discussions and polls take place in the forum entitled Messrs. Grubb, Grubb, and Burrowes.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:57 pm 
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OUR POLICIES:
Policies are enforced in the same way that by-laws are enforced, the difference being that we view policies as precedents which have emerged through discussions and requests by the members, and may evolve as our needs and circumstances change. Policies are discussed here before being implemented: Policy Discussion Thread
___________________________________________________________

Policy on Thread Deletions:

Generally, we do not delete threads except under special circumstances.

• The request must come from the threadstarter
• The nature of the thread must be such that the posts are all made for the benefit of the threadstarter, such as advice on a particular situation
• We must be convinced that there is potential harm to the threadstarter if the thread is not deleted, and this outweighs the harm to other posters of having their written words expunged.

If we decide that a request for deletion is justified, we will:

• PM every poster in the thread and advise them that the thread will be deleted after three days, so that they might save anything they consider personally important
• Request that no one share personal information to the detriment of the threadstarter (this would be a violation of our by-laws subject to an indefinite ban)
• maintain the thread in the Naith for at least 14 days, during which time we will PM to any poster on request the text of their own posts

Policy Regarding Discussion of Other Messageboards on HoF:

We do not want to prohibit mention or discussion of other messageboards here because we believe that open discussion is necessary for the overall health of the community.

However, we want the purpose of those discussions to be productive. We want them to be directed toward a better understanding of one another and not just an airing of grievances.

Sometimes complaints or disappointments have to be expressed, but we want them to be addressed to the person(s) who disappointed us for the purpose of dialogue, and not be third-party discussion about the person(s) who disappointed us for the purpose of venting anger.

These are the criteria we will use in judging whether a conversation lives up to the tone we want to preserve for this board.

Those of us who are Marshals have decided that we ourselves will not comment on other messageboards. As individuals, we all post in other places; but when admin personnel speak on their own board, it is easily perceived as an 'official' statement. So we will refrain from commenting ourselves on anything other than the future plans and directions for HoF.

The one thing we have decided to prohibit is the mention of individuals who are not members of this board in any thread that concerns past disagreements. We will edit out such comments as soon as they appear. These edits will be done in the following manner:
• The remark involving the individual’s name will be edited from the post and moved to the Naith.
• No edit note will be placed in the thread; rather the poster will be notified immediately by PM that their post was edited and that the text has been preserved.
• The poster is free to rephrase their comment without mention of any non-member individuals and repost it if they wish. We will send them the text of their post by PM if needed.
• If the poster chooses not to do that, and wants us to put a shirriff edit note in their post, we will do so. But we will not advertise the edit unless the poster wants us to.
• These edits will be done without prejudice on our part. We consider them hygienic, and the text will be deleted in the Naith as soon as the poster has decided whether or not they want to self-edit.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:58 pm 
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POLICIES (continued):

Policy on Shirriff Posts

• As stated in Member Rights and Responsibilities: We prefer that members practice self-moderation by extending respect and courtesy to one another without interference from our administrators.

• Shirriffs/marshals will post in a thread as shirriffs/marshals only if a violation of the by-laws or policies has taken place or if they feel that one is imminent.

• When we are posting as shirriffs to enforce the by-laws, we will distinguish our posts by labeling them as shirriff posts and by posting in dark red, so that the post will be clearly distinguishable.

• If the post is not plainly identified as a shirriff comment as noted above, posters may assume that we are commenting in an advisory capacity as fellow self-moderating posters.

Any formal decision by a shirriff can be questioned by starting a thread in the Nan Elmoth forum.
__________________

This is what the shirriff post will look like.


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POLICIES (continued):

Policy for Official Warnings

If a post violates our by-laws, we may edit or delete it, and we may issue an official warning to the poster if the situation warrants.

• An official warning will only be issued if the post was egregious enough that continuing to post in that manner would lead to a restriction of posting rights. A majority of shirriffs will have to agree that the post meets this standard before an official warning would be issued. Official warnings will be delivered to the poster privately by PM or email.

• Official warnings will state plainly that this manner of posting would lead to a restriction of posting rights if repeated.

• No more than two official warnings need be given. If genuinely objectionable material is posted a third time after two warnings have been given, posting rights may be restricted. In regard to the policy prohibiting plagiarism, as stated above only one warning will be given, and an indefinite ban will be implemented upon the second violation.

• Our by-laws provide due process for our members in good standing. However, the marshals recognize that some issues pose an immediate danger, for example: advocating violence, compromising privacy, solicitation of illegal activity, or anything that would threaten our legality or the security of our members. If the marshals feel that immediate action must be taken in cases like this, posting rights might be restricted without prior warning being given. The procedure will remain as described in Section 3 of our by-laws.

• Our by-laws provide for taking into account any hostility a poster may have shown toward administrators of other messageboards, but it is not our policy to take this into account preemptively. A poster must violate the by-laws of this board before previous behavior here or on any other board would become a consideration.

• We do not maintain any records of edits, requests for edits, reminders about the by-laws, etc., or any other transactions with posters beyond the official warnings that would precede a restriction of posting rights.

• Our notion of due process extends to members of our community. Registrations that appear to be made solely for the purpose of trolling or advertising may be summarily struck from the memberlist after reasonable efforts have been made to determine the poster's intent.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:59 pm 
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POLICIES (continued):

Policy for Handling Shirriff Edits of a Post

If an edit is minor, we will ask the poster by PM to reword the post themselves.

If we feel a post must be changed immediately, we will do the edit ourselves and inform the poster by PM what has been done.

Posters have the right to object and ask that the edit be reviewed.

Posters have the right to ask that a Shirriff Note be placed in their post, reflecting the fact that an edit was done. Edits are not advertised except at the poster's request, since posters feel differently about the benefit of this.

A copy of the original post is placed in the administrative forum so that the post can be restored or reworded if necessary. The copy is deleted when discussion with the poster is concluded.


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