Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.
- As anyone reading this knows, membership requires pre-registration, and no-one can post without first registering. By registering, the member’s IP address can be seen by the moderators. This way, we’re able to prevent the forum from being exploited for commercial or other purposes unrelated to our guidelines, and, if needed, we can take steps to ensure our members’ privacy if they seem to be exploited.
- Access to the Project Avalon Forum is currently free, and has been for many years. However, this doesn’t mean this is a ‘public’ forum. Project Avalon is very much a private forum — with public access. As such, all material contained within the site, including posts by members, are the sole ‘property’ of Project Avalon.
- By ‘property’, we mean that the moderators retain the right, or the final say, as it were, about what stays in view, or what doesn’t stay in view. We’re not trying to say that we ‘own’ your words, because of course those are your own to repost anywhere else you like. It’s simply that what’s posted here needs to be under our final control.
- Always remember that membership, which is originally by invitation after application, is a privilege, not a right — and the moderators reserve the right themselves to ask any member to leave, at any stage, in order to preserve and maintain the security, propriety, and integrity of the community.
- Disagreeing with various points or topics is natural, and has always been a healthy component of all human activity throughout history. However, we do require that all members are treated with respect. In very many cases, what matters is not what you say... but how you say it.
- ·If a member’s conduct is seen to hurt the community spirit of the group, and persist even after warnings to please change the way they’re communicating, they’ll be unsubscribed. In most cases, for a member to be unsubscribed, this is the last resort after quite a lot of effort has been made by the moderators’ team to communicate privately with the member concerned.
- ·Do understand that we all know that someone can ‘have a bad day’. (Or even, sometimes, a bad week!) We have a high tolerance for anyone who is upset, and feels the compulsion to express it. What we’re referring to here, when we talk of unsubscribing someone, is when it becomes clear that someone is not (or is no longer) a ‘good fit’ with the spirit and values of the community.
- If someone is unsubscribed, it does not mean that they are in any way a ‘bad person’. We are not judging anyone in that way, and have no right to. What it does mean is that we’ve taken the executive decision that they are not (or are no longer) a good fit with the values and spirit of our particular community.
- All members are asked to contribute to the positive energy and attitude of the forum. While healthy debate is a traditional and integral part of all critical inquiry, members are asked to be open-minded, committed to learning, and responsive to well-intentioned feedback
- ·As explained above, anyone who doesn’t appear to be in alignment with the purpose and energy of the forum may be asked to leave.
- There’s a fine line here, which is a little tricky to define. Many members have their own sites, for instance, or have written books or even made movies, and it’s okay to mention those. Sometimes those contain very valuable information for members who want to learn more about a topic that interests them. That’s all valuable and is appreciated. Sharing information for mutual growth and learning is what we do here.
- ·But if that becomes more like a ‘commercial’ proposition (like asking people to visit another site to make a donation), or to specifically buy a video or a book, or to sell a product, or to join another forum rather than remain on this one (which is a kind of ‘poaching’ which is neither appreciated nor in any way helpful), then the moderators will step in and gently explain that this is not okay. If in doubt, just please ask.
5. ALWAYS COMMUNICATE
- Always feel free to contact the moderators, either individually or as a group, with questions and concerns. No question or concern is a bad one. We’re always happy to hear from you, for any reason or no reason. Unlike those on some other forums, the moderators team do not consider themselves as ‘police’ of any kind. Rather, we’re here as friends, to support and assist all members in any way, and to maintain these guidelines which (like all wise rules in any society) are only there to enhance freedom, not restrict it.
1. SUBVERSIVE TOPICS
- Discussions, posts, or personal profiles that feature drugs and other intoxicating substances, pornography (including nude art), foul language, racial/ sexual/ national intolerance, hate speech, or politically subversive acts or planning, have no place here. The moderators will step in quite quickly if those are brought to their attention. Please also see "Trolling" in the Infractions/Suspensions section below.
- Any threads or posts relating to suicide will be moderated — due to issues of legal liability. If you’re feeling suicidal, please immediately call your local suicide hotline and/or reach out to a qualified professional for help. As above, do also at any time contact the moderators themselves privately, who will always be pleased to support, if they can.
2. PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS
- Personal conversations should be conducted privately. Do always remember that your posts are visible to thousands of people who may not find private jokes or topics beneficial (or even understandable!). Do please try to keep posts on topic at all times
- Private messages must remain private, and should never be posted in public without the author’s permission. If you have a problem with a private message you’ve received, you may "report" it to the moderators using the /!\ link at the bottom left of the message. A copy of the message is then sent to the moderators for them to read and act on if needed.
- Although in theory everything written by anyone is on the database somewhere (often deeply coded and to all intents and purposes inaccessible!), the moderators have no routine access whatsoever to private messages. They are never read by us, unless reported as above. There have been some malevolent rumors elsewhere that private messages are read by the moderators here. Those rumors are quite false, and we’d like all members to know that our values are to fully respect personal privacy at all times.
3. POSTING ‘DEAD’ TEXT
- “Dead text” unnecessarily consumes bandwidth, as well as server space and (most importantly) reading time. When replying to a post, please quote only the previous text that’s essential to the reply. Just edit (trim down) the text in quotes that you’re replying to. This is simple to do. If you’re unsure how to do this, please ask any of the moderators or Greeters to offer a hand.
4. POSTS CAN BE EDITED OR DELETED IF NECESSARY
- Individual posts may at any time be subject to modifications (edits) by the moderation team. We would only do that to remove something that’s inappropriate (or, in some cases, factually incorrect). In our effort to uphold these guidelines and preserve the community spirit of the forum, posts may be edited, moved, or deleted with or without explanation. Usually, of course, we would make efforts to contact the member concerned immediately, either before or after editing or deleting a post that doesn’t quite meet the guidelines here.
5. THE WORD CENSOR
- The forum software has an automated word censor. This operates to filter out rude or crude words and expressions that may be offensive to some. Always remember that we have members as young as 15 years old (as well as some who are over 85). The edited result would look a little like this: ****. Please don’t use methods to try to defeat the word censor that allow excessive profanity or vulgarity to bleed through on to the forum. There are always more creative ways of expressing yourself fully!
6. POSTING EXTERNAL MATERIAL
- When sharing external (non-forum) material with other members, please do it in the form of links with summary paragraphs. Posting very long passages of external text is discouraged.
- The summary of the content of the link should ideally be in your own words and/or with a short extract from the text itself. If you are quoting external text, please always give a link to the source material, so we can all clearly see where something has come from. This makes it easy for others to dig deeper into the posted material if it interests them.
- “Naked” links, i.e. links without summary text, should be avoided, as most members don’t have the time to blindly research them. That includes posts which only feature a single link to a YouTube video, for instance. At least, please let us all know what the video is about and why you’ve posted it. Always try to make other members’ lives easier if you can.
7. POST DELETION / MODIFICATION
- We consider posts to this forum too important for members to come back at a later date and remove the content without good reason. Therefore we consider posts, once made, as the ‘property’ of the forum. (Please see above for a clarification of this odd term: we’re really saying that the moderators need to have the final say on what is or is not in view.) Members who edit posts into ‘nothing’ or significantly change the original content, may have them restored to the original by the moderators if it’s considered it would affect the readability and flow of the threads they appear in.
- If you’ve made an error, made a duplicate post accidentally (the forum software can sometimes make this mistake), or realize that a post of yours is inappropriate or off-topic — members can't actually delete their own posts, but the moderators can easily do so if asked. We’re always happy to help.
9. OVER-ENTHUSIASTIC TEXT FORMATTING
- Excessive use of over-the-top, attention-grabbing formats such as ALL CAPS, large text, alarmist and panicky URGENT headlines, or dramatic colors, are strongly discouraged and are liable to be edited by the moderators straight away.
- Signatures, like posts, are subject to be moderated if appropriate or needed. Signatures have a specific purpose that shouldn't be misused — to say something about the member that adds a pleasant, colorful, characterful depiction of 'who they are'. A signature is a little like a verbal Avatar, so to speak.
- be pleasant
- be interesting
- be short, neat and concise (no more than three lines of 80 characters each)
They should NOT
- be irritating for any reason
- be unpleasant to read
- be emotionally or 'politically' charged in any way
- contain images or large fonts. (They're meant to be textual only.)The thing to remember is that if you're a frequent poster, your signature is seen by other viewers over and over and over again. That can sometimes make the simplest thing irritating. So we always have to see that from others' points of view, just as any interaction with friends in life. And the visitors to the forum, who outnumber members 15:1, have no way of disabling their view of signatures, even if they might like to.C: Personal Behavior
1. TARGETING INDIVIDUALS
- Posts shouldn’t really be directed to any specific individuals such as Bill Ryan, or any specific witness or alternative media personality, unless a discussion has already opened. We’d strongly recommend directing your comments, questions and concerns to the forum as a whole, so that anyone may answer you. This simple guideline promotes community discussion, rather than individual confrontation.
- This also includes the family of Avalon members. If you have an issue with any particular member’s post (or private message) please use the report button /!\ found at the bottom left of their post.
- Avatars that may be seen as offensive, or in violation of these guidelines, are liable to be removed by the moderators. We’d simply ask you to choose a better one! Basically, please just make sure your Avatar comes over as a pleasant, interesting and creative representation of yourself.
- Personal attacks on threads, singling out and ‘targeting’ any member in a derogatory or disrespectful way, is totally against the principles we seek to embody and represent. If you feel upset with another member, either report the issue to the moderators so that they may help if they can, or (respectfully!) take it up with (and WORK it out with) the member concerned — privately.
D: Suspensions and Unsubscription
In the vast majority of cases, a member who oversteps these guidelines will NOT forfeit their membership. Instead, the moderators would contact him or her by private message, or invoke a short suspension of membership privileges (colloquially, a mandatory "vacation" from the forum for anything from a day to a couple of weeks). The moderation team may at any point choose to edit the member’s posts, or to ask the member to please edit their own post.
As above, we fully recognize that any one of us can sometimes have a bad day. It’s when that extends to being a bad month, that we become concerned about whether a member may properly belong in the community.
The following topics might be reasons for taking this kind of moderation action.
- Making threats is totally not okay. Any threats made on this forum toward any member (or moderator!) can earn the perpetrator an instant and permanent ban. This doesn’t just refer to physical threats, but also threats of a spiritual or metaphysical nature. Please don't even do this as a joke.
- An internet ‘troll’ (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll) is someone who posts controversial, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as our forum, with the intention or agenda of provoking (‘hooking’) other users into an emotional response — or to generally disrupt normal, healthy, on-topic discussion. Members who seem to be trolling risk losing their membership and posting rights.
3. CLONING (THE USE OF ‘SOCKPUPPETS’)
- Any member who creates multiple accounts, pretending to be more than one person, will be unsubscribed.
4. ‘SPAMMING’ / ADVERTISING
- Spamming (sending a message many times in a ‘buckshot’ way to try to gain the attention of many people) won’t be tolerated, and members who abuse the trust of the forum’s format by ‘spamming’ will be immediately unsubscribed. If appropriate, their Internet Service Provider may be contacted about the abuse.
- Using e-mail addresses acquired on the forum to spam members privately is also absolutely not okay.
- Although this is a little hard to define precisely, promotion of products or services for sale, or of a website selling products or services, or attracting private donations (such as via another website) is in many cases not okay, even if you don’t directly profit yourself. If you’re in any doubt, please just contact the moderators for clarification.
- We DO recognize that posting how to find useful products and services can be a helpful contribution (as in various valuable, sometimes hard-to-find complementary remedies, off-grid resources, etc). So, as mentioned above, this is not a hard-and-fast line to draw. Please understand the spirit of this guideline, and we hope it will be understood.
- Links in your signature shouldn’t point to any website which offers products or services for sale.
- Any member found to be impersonating an alternative media personality (or a member of the Project Avalon staff team) will be unsubscribed immediately.
6. REPEATED DISRESPECT
- If a member’s conduct is seen to repeatedly hurt the community spirit of the forum, they will be unsubscribed. Do please bear in mind that if any member is unsubscribed specifically because of an unacceptable post or posts they’ve made, those posts may very well be deleted from view immediately.
7. REPEATED NEGATIVITY
- Anyone who consistently doesn’t appear to be in alignment with the positive purpose and/or energy of the forum may be unsubscribed.
8. UNRELATED PROMOTION
- Members who OVERLY promote themselves (and the key word here is ‘overly’), their own websites, philosophies, products, services or constructs, may be unsubscribed. Of course, all members will share and discuss their views of the world, and we expect, support and encourage that. But when something becomes the overly repeated beating of a drum (some ‘Flat Earth’ proponents come to mind!), that then starts to kind of cross a line.
9. VIOLATION OF THE REGISTRATION AGREEMENT
- "By registering at this site you are deemed to be agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise make any posts that are in violation of any laws."
Although the administrators and moderators of the Project Avalon Forum will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off the site, please bear in mind that it’s almost impossible for us to review or be aware of everything that happens here. So we do rely on member support to kindly bring to our attention anything that seems to warrant our attention.
And finally, we need to state a legal note here — which is that all messages or posts solely express the views of the author, and neither the owners/moderators of The Project Avalon Community Forum, nor vBulletin Solutions, Inc. (developers of vBulletin, the forum software that we use) can be held responsible for the content of any message.
These are the rules of our virtual society — the sole purpose of which is to maximize and optimize the freedom and safety of everyone here, so that we can all learn and grow together. What we’re doing here is valuable and important, and we welcome and support your every commitment to align with our goals. Thank you, to all, for being here with us.