These guidelines apply to posts, profiles, private messages, and all other forms of communication you can use on the forum.
Cross-Posting, Duplicate Threads, Et cetera
Cross-posting is the act of posting the same thread in multiple locations. It's in your best interest to have one thread so you can find all replies and information in one place, rather than having it spread across two or more threads. It adds unnecessary clutter and can be a waste of your fellow members' time. Therefore we request you to post your threads in the most appropriate forum, given our organizational structure. If the duplicate thread(s) has already generated helpful replies, we will close it and add a reply, linking to the one thread that we intend to leave open. Any duplicated thread(s) without helpful replies will be deleted. We could also merge the two duplicate threads, but that can make for even more unnecessary clutter, so we'll just handle each situation as best as we can.
Posting the same thread in the same forum more than once is something we discourage for the same reasons, and we handle them in exactly the same manner. If you posted the two or more threads within a very short period of time, we can deduce that one was an accident and we'll simply remove it. However, if one is posted more than five minutes or so after the other, we'll assume it was not an accident.
Note that if a topic is moved and a link in the old forum to the topic remains, it does NOT follow these rules. When a topic is moved there is an option to make a duplicate redirecting thread to the topic. This is the moderator's doing and will not be punished for. However, if you do not want the duplicate thread, please contact a moderator to have it removed.
Post-Count Boosting and Bumping
Sometimes users take their post count a little too seriously and try to boost it artificially though the mass creation of short and/or meaningless posts. This is commonly referred to as spam, and we strongly discourage such behavior. Spam will result in the standard warn procedure (see further down). Copy and pasting posts over and over or posting multiple replies after each other also fall under this category as well as the cross posting and double posting categories.
Bumping is the act of posting onto a thread for no apparent reason other than to get people to look at it again, or to bring it back up to the top of the active-threads list. Hence why it's called bumping--it bumps the topic up. Bumping is only allowed in your own art galleries, hacking projects, and similar things where updates are made.
Bumping rules are not strictly enforced in spam land or forum games. If a member needs a topic to be bumped, he/she can ask permission from someone first. Just sending a PMing and getting approval to bump a topic is fine, although you or whoever may also just ask the moderator to do it themselves to avoid any conflict.
The 1st time a topic is bumped without good reason it will be a verbal warning. The 2nd time will be another verbal warning. Any subsequent times (3rd, 4th, etc.) will result in an 10% increase to a member's warn meter. Once a user reaches 30% off of bumped topics a one day suspension will occur. If the member continues after the suspension and reaches 50%, they will be suspended for 3 days. If another topic is improperly bumped after these measures, a 2 week ban will occur, followed by a permaban if necessary.
Styles of Communication
There are some obvious guidelines pertaining to styles of communication. This includes things as users not being allowed to type 100 percent in caps, users needing to form complete sentences, resisting the temptation of shorthand ("r" for "are", "u" for "you", et cetera) and the like.
If we see your communication style is rather bad and stays that way, we'll send you a note asking you to adjust the way you post. Hopefully we won't have to do this too much, as we prefer having as much quality posts as possible.
There is one thing to this, though. The other users are not allowed to make uninvited remarks about spelling, typos, posting styles, etc. This helps to keep threads from degenerating into nonsense. They aren't necessary and only serve as a sidetrack. If there's an issue with how a fellow member posts continuously, report it to a staff member.
Grammar in communication is not going to be strictly enforced. However, basic grammar is promoted and helps the forums remain intelligent. Good grammar is also key to making the forums superior to other forums where people do not care for grammar. Sometimes it is difficult for people to get used to using good grammar. It is the staff's responsibility to help. However, typing badly is NOT tolerated when members do it on purpose to cause problems and will be punished with a 10% warn, followed by a 30% warn, and then standard banning procedure.
Ultimately, what matters most with communication is that people understand each other and sound reasonably intelligent, and there is some flexibility in this and it is up to the moderators to decide what is acceptable and what isn't.
One-word posts are not prohibited per se but are largely frowned upon if they aren't really necessary in the least. For instance, one-word posts are often fine in the spam area ("Nonsense Zone") or if someone is waiting for confirmation of something and all you're saying is "Yeah". However, if you're only responding to say "lol", "that's dumb", or something short that doesn't really add anything to the discussion, then you should reconsider posting at all. We do have a like button for the purpose of showing you like a post without actually having to post.
Ultimately, we just want quality posts and making some poor ones isn't a serious infraction of the rules, we'd just prefer you try not to do it as it can be considered annoying and/or spam.
Advertising is the act of posting a link to a web site you are, in one way or another, affiliated to, especially for the intent of increasing traffic to that site. Such links will be deleted.
However, so long as your site is personal and non-profit, you are allowed to post advertisements of sorts: for instance, asking someone to vote for you in a contest on some other site is OK as long as it is infrequent, the site content is acceptable for all ages, etc.—if you're not sure, ask. We pretty much just don't want the forums cluttered with advertisements, that's all. You can link to your site in your profile or in your signature (though the latter should not be overly large/distracting and should follow signature rules).
The Advertisement forum allows for members with a certain amount of posts to share their websites and advertise them. However, advertisements are restrained within this forum and user's signatures or profile. Posting topics in other areas or repeated shoutbox advertising is prohibited.
Fire Emblem Shrine no longer has an Advertisement forum. - Shu
Advertisement consequences follow standard procedure.
Affiliate links are links that lead directly to the poster of them earning cash, banner impressions, credits, etc. We don't allow such links. If you really want to recommend a worthy product, you can also post the link to it without your affiliate codes tacked on. Advertising in your signature is permitted to some extent (see the above section).
You are not allowed to post complete written works (stories, poems, news articles, editiorials, interviews, etc.) if you do not have permission from the original author to reproduce those works. Under fair-use provisions, we allow you to quote articles and link to or cite a source. We do not allow you to quote without a source. Of course, this is not limited to written works. Pictures, audio, video and other (possibly artistical) creations are also protected. Due to mass online piracy, the largest issues are with audio and video. For some reason, people think they have the right to distribute copyrighted media. We don't allow this in our community, whether it's the distribution of files or the promotion of this behavior (which includes downloading copyrighted media, mind you). In other words, just stay legal.
Any downloads on the Fire Emblem Shrine mainsite or forums specific to the site also have rules. It's fine if you link to the website and any files on it, but a person (regardless of membership) is not allowed to download the files and then re-host them onto any website/file host without first asking for and receiving permission from the Root Administrator. This means if you have a website of your own, you may NOT download files from the Fire Emblem Shrine and then put them on your own website to share unless you receive permission from Blazer and/or the original creator of the file (depending on the situation).
In addition to avoiding copyright infringement, you should refrain from discussing any illegal activities or content, with the exception of discussion related to modding ROMs. No warez (illegal trading of copyrighted works). No cracks (circumvention of software copy protection and activation systems). No law breaking of any kind. This includes posting information that you have obtained illegally.
There is NO exception for sharing ROMs. Sharing ROM files is prohibited and any instance will result in immediate deletion of the post and a month ban. Any 2nd occurrence results in a permanent ban of the offending member or members. Do not share, ask for, or mention where to locate ROMs or other illegal game downloads.
The same rules as above apply to any illegal music, programs, cracks, or anything illegal, as stated before. If you're not sure about something, please ask an administrator or moderator.
Hotlinking and Bandwidth Theft
Hotlinking is the act of linking to a visual element so that it embeds into the site, but is called from a server that we are not located on or have permission to link to in this fashion. We get the benefit of the file, but the person who pays for the server foots the bill. This results in bandwidth theft.
Hotlinking basically means you're using bandwidth that you have no business using. If you link you avatar to a server that hosts the image but do not have permission to link to that server, for example, you're hotlinking. It costs the owner of that server money and resources, while we get the benefit of the image for free.
Providing links to files on other servers is also hotlinking. For example, let's say you had this link: http://www.whatever....s/someimage.png. Based on the PNG extension, it's a link to an image file rather than a website. It's hotlinking. This includes but is not limited to images, videos, audio, documents and archives. You should link to the page with the file on it - not the file itself. Linking directly to the file allows people to view or download it directly without viewing the website that hosts it. The owners of websites you hotlink to have these files on their sites to give people a reason to visit those sites - accessing them directly merely sucks up their bandwidth without giving them an actual visitor.
The only exception to this rule is if the website owner gives permission to hotlink. If this is the case, it's most likely posted somewhere on the site. If the owner mentions nothing about it, you are not sure, or it's flat-out not allowed, you should refrain from hotlinking.
Use one of the many free image/video/file hosting services out there instead of hotlinking. However, that doesn't change anything about the copyright infringement-related things I mentioned; you still aren't allowed to upload the latest Family Guy episode or someone's album, for example. That's never allowed.
Note that these rules apply to the Fire Emblem Shrine. See the 2nd paragraph of Copyright for more pertaining details.
Personal Information and Privacy
Keep personal, real-life information such as your home address(es), phone numbers, and similar data to yourself; don't share them with anyone on the forum. If you wish to share this information with someone, do it privately over instant messengers and refrain from involving the forums in the actions in anyway. You are free to tell your name or upload photos of yourself AT YOUR OWN COST. There is no regulation stating that one must do so in order to be a member.
Abuse of false identity is not allowed. Although we most likely have no idea who the other members on the forum may actually be, it is obvious that if somebody posts a picture of Michael Jackson and says "THIS IS ME!" it is not them. Also, do not give names to people that are not their names or that they do not like. Do not share any personal information or feel pressured to do so.
These rules apply to sites like Facebook or MySpace—don't post your account. Feel free to tell someone some other way such as e-mail or IMs at your own risk. The Fire Emblem Shrine and its people take no responsibility for your actions. You have been warned.
English, Please. We are an English-speaking community, and if you don't speak that language, that can get very annoying. I can't expect you to understand the Dutch words I use. It's annoying if you have no idea what someone is talking about.
If you are foreign and need help with something, please try and contact the staff. Most likely if you have registered you understand basic English. Many people on the forum are bilingual and we may be able to help you, so please ask a staff member for help. Thank you.
Respect, Flaming, Drama, Etc.
We as a staff prefer to get treated with respect. But just as importantly, you should treat one another with respect. That doesn't mean you need to agree with everyone, but inflammatory and disrespectful comments cannot be tolerated.
"Flaming", trolling, and purposely and sincerely insulting other members are not tolerated. We the staff can understand if you call someone a jerk and are joking about it. However, often times it is very difficult to tell if someone is joking or not. Please try and be clear about your intentions. Little emoticons like " :P" can help signify whether you are just playing around (thus the tongue sticking out) or whether you are actually upset.
If you have a problem relating to respect, contact a staff member and ignore the situation until it is taken care of. Remember that if you aren't at fault and you report the problem, you have little to worry about, especially since you were the "bigger person".
Disrespect follows the standard procedure with exceptions. Sometimes major problems occur and 'drama' occurs. Often times these situations will have to be handled on a situation-by-situation basis. It is very difficult to make rules for every possible situation there is. As long as a member does his or her best we can usually do our best to resolve any problems. We (the staff) also understand not everyone's perfect and sometimes conflict occurs even though people don't mean for it to happen. Please be patient and understanding of the staff as well. We do this as a volunteer job/hobby and are also people.
Strong vulgarities are not prohibited, but frowned upon. Overall, we want this community to be inviting and approachable, not disrespectful and vulgar. Thus we should try to sound kind, intelligent, compassionate, and mature in our posts. Avoiding the use of excessive "poor language" is a part of this.
Users can have all different ages and backgrounds, and all* should feel relatively welcome here. Profanity is not exactly welcoming. On the note of content, you are not allowed to post any offensive material in your posts, profiles, signatures, etc. This includes but is not limited to pornography, racial slurs, sexually motivated content, and depictions or descriptions of extreme violence. Abbreviations of vulgarities are treated the same as non-abbreviated vulgarities.
This includes talking about hentai, making sexual puns, and as stated, any sexually motivated content. Extreme racism (note: most everyone is racist to some extent and the natural flaws of humans are understandable—I'm definitely not perfect), discrimination, stereotypes, stigmas, extreme violence, etc., are also not tolerated.
There are exceptions. In our writing section, you may have written a story that contains violence. That's obviously fine. If you're linking to a video game or anime with some fan service, that's fine, but please link to it off-site and/or give a fair warning as to the nature of the content (e.g. "SPOILERS: NSFW [Not Safe For Work] VIDEO GAME FOOTAGE").
Offensive material follows standard procedure with situation-by-situation procedure mixed in (depending on the situation).
*By all, we really mean "people 13 years or older or above". People younger than 13 really shouldn't be on the site. Though we don't restrict the age of people who join, our content is geared towards Teen-and-above (like the ratings of most Fire Emblem games in North America), so this is only fitting.
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of speech, while incredibly important in a democracy, has no place in an online community such as this. We run this site, and you should adhere to the guidelines presented here. Contrary to what some of you "experts" (also known as mad people whining about us removing their posts) may think, you are not allowed to say whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want.
Despite this, the staff tries to be fair and just and make your time here as enjoyable as possible. We do not have any obligation to do this however, so please keep that in mind. It's a compromise between users and the staff (who are also users).
You are not allowed to have more than one account. When we search for your posts, we don't want to have to search multiple accounts to get all data. Plus, you're being dishonest with the entire community. And most importantly, it's easier for us to track violations or issues with you when you have only one supposed username. It can generally be confusing and cause problems in various ways.
Making a multiple account on accident, with a legitimate excuse, will result in a severe warning but no other punishment. Without a legitimate excuse, a 3 month ban will take place. If the user is known to have broken the rules in other ways, a permanent ban may occur. Decisions may be made on a situation-by-situation basis, however these are the guidelines.
Images are allowed in your signatures. However, its size must be limited, and you can have up to only two images in your signature. One image can at most be 500 pixels wide and 300 pixels high. Your total signature can be up to 400 pixels high. Nobody's ever in the mood to wait for a huge signature to load or we have to scroll a page and a half until we find someone's post. Furthermore, don't use colors that are harsh on the eyes in your signature. It's hard to account for every possible signature, so as usual, if we have any problem with the signature, we will let you know, but these general guidelines should prevent things from being a problem.
Also, this goes without saying, but signatures follow all the other rules of content mentioned earlier in the rules (copyright, content, etc.).
You should respect the decisions the staff makes. Staff members have the final say and are responsible for interpreting and enforcing the guidelines presented. If there is a complaint in relation to the guidelines (if you believe your thread was wrongfully deleted, for example), contact the staff member or an administrator via private messaging or instant messaging, not publicly. This includes things like "My post was deleted," "Why did you delete my post?" , "Why did I get warned?", etc.
Violate the Guidelines, And There Will Be Consequences
You need to respect these guidelines. If you don't, there will be consequences. Disregarding a staff member and/or these guidelines runs you the risk of losing your ability to participate in the community.
Standard Warn/Ban Procedure:
Verbal Warning, Verbal Warning (Optional), 10% Warn, 20% Warn, 30% Warn and 1-Day Suspension/Ban, 40% Warn, 50% Warn and 3-Day Suspension/Ban, 2 Week Suspension/Ban, 1 Month Suspension/Ban (Optional), Permanent Ban (Inflicted by The Banhammer)
These Guidelines Are Not All-Inclusive
These guidelines don't cover everything 100%. We cannot address every situation specifically. We're managing a community here, and discretion is a big part of it. These guidelines are subject to change at any time without notice and we deserve the right to deactivate any account and can remove any content without warning.
We're generally flexible and if we have a problem with something you're doing but it's not clearly mentioned in the rules, we'll probably just let you know—it's no big deal, but we can't account for every single thing we want/don't want on the forums, and every situation is handled differently. We try to stick to various standards, but it's impossible to be perfect. This actually goes both ways and we won't necessarily enforce every rule to the max. It's really a matter of "is ___ hurting the forum, someone on the forum, or the overall experience?" and if so, we do something about it, but if not, we probably won't.
This way of handling things is known as the situation-by-situation procedure.
We Need Your Help!
We do not sit back and approve each post before it's visible on the forum. This is also somewhat true to violations of the guidelines. We cannot find all of them, and that's where you come in. The Report button exists for a reason. Use it when you see a user violate the guidelines. We'll take action (or not) accordingly.
In contrast, you are not allowed to publicly talk about guideline violations or tell fellow users they have violated one of the guidelines. That's the job of the staff, not yours. Instead, remember to use the Report button or otherwise contact a member of the staff through some other means, such as an instant messenger. In other words, don't mini-mod, and don't tell us what to do. Just tell us your concerns. Thanks for your cooperation.
Participating in the forum is still a form of enjoyment, no matter how small it may be to you. We're trying to give you a positive experience while participating in discussions. So keep it light, have fun, and make participating enjoyable for everyone.
If you have any questions or need help, please contact an administrator.
Note that this is for CONVENIENCE only and you are still obliged to follow the rules as listed above. At the very least though, you should be familiar with these basic, dumbed-down versions of the rules:
- Don't double-post
- Don't spam
- Don't make pointless posts (e.g. one-word posts)
- Don't share stuff you shouldn't be sharing
- Don't discuss/share illegal stuff
- Don't share personal info or try to get personal info out of others
- Try to speak decent English
- Make quality posts/communicate reasonably well
- Respect others and try not to start drama
- Don't post potentially offensive material especially without a fair warning (general forum content should be rated no higher than about "T" for "Teen"—assume we have a younger audience on the forum, because we do)
- Signature images limited to two: max for one is 500x300, max for entire signature is 400 pixels tall; if we think it's too big/annoying we might tell you to change it regardless and it's up to moderator's discretion.
- Staff is boss. If you don't wanna listen, there will be consequences. The members should cooperate to make the forum awesome and the forum is in turn for the members. You don't actually have freedom of speech here: being a part of the forums is a privilege and we can remove you if we feel like you misuse that privilege, but we want you to stay and be a good member, because it's more fun that way.
- We need your help, but not by mini-modding or telling the staff what to do. You do those, and you're breaking the rules yourself.
- These guidelines aren't all-inclusive. Of course they aren't. You didn't even read the full version. Well, probably. I guess double-props if you read the long-version AND the tl;dr. But tl;dr is short for "too long; didn't read" for a reason. Anyhow, everything is ultimately up to the staff discretion, so don't whine if you get caught by something that isn't here or you or someone else doesn't get the "standard" treatment for breaking the rules or something. We're generally pretty flexible and as long as you try to cooperate there shouldn't be any problems.
- Any questions? Not sure about anything? Ask! Site Discussion forum is fine. PM a staff member that isn't Blazer! (Don't PM Blazer as he dislikes being PM'd and gets too many messages as-is). He might ban you for that. Blazer can be pretty petty when he wants to be.