***Rules of the Board. Please Read Before Posting***

************YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO POST ANYWHERE ELSE UNTIL YOU PROPERLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF HERE.*********

***Rules of the Board. Please Read Before Posting***

Postby BabyReba » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:53 pm

Hello, and welcome to Pit Bull Forum, a gathering place for responsible dog owners and enthusiasts. We are dedicated to promoting the positive image of the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and all other bull breeds.

To help foster an atmosphere where education and collaboration can thrive, we have a few simple rules and guidelines. As you browse the forum and interact with other members, please keep these rules in mind, especially when discussions may become involved and heated.

It's okay to have intense discussions and arguments as long as everyone involved behaves in a courteous and respectful manner; in fact, we here at PBF believe that mature debate and discussion are vital to an educational forum. Please do not misinterpret polite but firm disagreement or debate as a personal attack. Remember that strong disagreement and debate are not the same things as "flaming."

That said, we also expect our members to be able to conduct themselves in a manner that, even in the face of disagreement, encourages the exchange of information and ideas—even when those ideas clash with your own.

So, we have created a code of conduct that we expect all users to abide by. If you do not agree with these rules, or if you cannot post according to them, then this is probably not the right forum for you.

We encourage you to read these rules, and refer back to them as needed.

[1] We condone only legal, humane dog-sports
Members may not promote dog fighting, which is now an illegal form of animal cruelty in the United States and most of the industrialized nations. We do understand and respect the history of our breed, but members may not use this board to glorify the act of dog fighting, past or present.

[2] No advertising of breeding
Members may not advertise breeding kennels, sell dogs, advertise for breedings, or post pictures of litters for sale on PBF. You may post photos of rescue dogs, rescue puppies, or rescue litters for adoption.

[3] No advertising of owner surrender
As a rescue-oriented forum, many here find it especially galling when a dog who already has its "forever home" is advertised for rehoming. We are happy to offer suggestions and resources that may help you find creative ways to keep your dog, but PBF is not to be used to help you get rid of a dog. You may post information about dogs in foster care who are still in need of their "forever home."

[4] Request help only for dogs you know personally
Many great dogs with great temperaments are killed every day, simply for lack of a home, so please do not expect us to vouch for dogs of unknown or marginal temperaments who may require special precautions and resources to live safely among humans. When you post about a dog in need of rescue or a dog in foster care, you are putting your personal reputation as a dog-savvy person on the line here. If you haven't met and evaluated a dog in person, then you don't really know the dog.

[5] What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas
Members may not use this forum as a rumor mill for the pit bull community. This is a board to discuss dogs, not people. Please do not bring interpersonal problems with other pit bull organizations, forums, or individuals to this board. If you have a problem with someone on this board, try to resolve it via e-mail or private message ("PM"); do not drag it out onto the forums. We understand that sometimes tempers flare, but PBF is not the place for members to air their dirty laundry. It’s not conducive to the environment we hope to foster here, and it’s not good for the reputation of pit bull owners in general, if we look and act like a bunch of disagreeable, unkind punks with more interest in personal issues than in responsible dog ownership. So please keep that in mind.

[6] What happens in Virtual Vegas stays there, too
Problems happening on other boards, chat rooms, and forums do not belong here, so please leave the drama at the door. We do not want to foster negative vibes here, and we do not want members from other boards feeling like they have to come here to defend themselves. So please: Do not board bash, copy threads from other boards, or use this board to rally the troops to go flame members elsewhere. Please do not make posts about personality conflicts or pit bull bashing that may take place on other forums. And to reduce inter-forum conflict, we ask that members do not post links to other boards, forums, or chat rooms here. This includes messaging the drama to moderators of this forum "just so we know" — if it happens here, we'll take care of it. If it happens elsewhere, we don't want to know.

[7] Be a positive representative
Members may not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, threatening, harassing, sexually oriented, or that violate the law. This includes posting favorably about drug use—owners of this breed must go above and beyond to fight misconceptions and prejudices about who we are and what we stand for. We believe that threads and images condoning the use of drugs perpetuates those stereotypes. So please: no bong pics, no stories of reckless drug use, no promotion of drug and alcohol abuse, no "I was soooo stoned" threads. You can probably find a forum where those kinds of stories are more appropriate.

[8] PBF is a hate-free zone
This community promotes tolerance of race, religion, sexual orientation, and ideology. Therefore, racist, sexually harassing, homophobic, or otherwise hateful posting will not be permitted. Period. The posting of racist remarks, hate language, homophobic, or sexually harassing comments may result in immediate and permanent suspension of one’s membership. It will be up to the discretion of the moderators and administrators to make that judgment call.

[9] No personal insults—post civilly, or do not post
Members may not make attacks on other forum members. Personal attacks of any kind are not permitted—no name calling, no personal insults, no posting angrily at other members. This includes, but is not limited to, attacking others based on their viewpoints about dogs, training, politics, lifestyles, or other personal preferences. You do not have to like all the other members on this board; you do not have to agree with them; you do not have to sugarcoat what you want to say to them. But we do not want you to sling mud at them, verbally abuse them, or harass them. You can offer constructive criticism, opposing viewpoints, or register your disagreement with another poster without resorting to mean-spiritedness. Posting personal attacks / insults may result in a warning for the offending member. Warnings will be sent via private message, and repeated warnings may result in temporary or permanent suspension of your posting privileges. If you cannot post civilly, do not post at all.

[10] No veiled, weasel-worded personal insults — post civilly, or do not post
Members should avoid making "passive-aggressive" comments in an attempt to get around the rules. We want you to follow the spirit and the letter of the law with regards to the rule against personal attacks and insults. Attempts to use passive-aggressive posting to get away with insulting others will not be tolerated, and may result in a warning and probation for the offending member. Warnings will be sent via private message, and repeated warnings may result in temporary or permanent suspension of your posting privileges. (Examples of passive-aggressive posting: Rather than calling someone an idiot directly, making a snide comment about "the idiots who post things like this." Rather than telling someone you disagree with something respectfully, you make a comment about how "ignorant people who think like this don’t deserve to own these dogs," etc.)

[11] Ignorance is bliss
PBF now has an "ignore" feature—please use it for people whose posts consistently make you want to post uncivilly.

[12] Don't shoot the messengers
Members may not attack the moderators or administrators of this forum. Admins and moderators are volunteers who try to keep the forum running smoothly—and no matter what kinds of decisions we have to make, we cannot make the entire community happy with each and every decision. We must weigh what we think is best for the whole of PBF against the desires of individual members. We try to be fair and even-handed, but please try to remember that we are only human: We have full-time jobs, families, and dogs that require our attention, so we may not respond to things as quickly as you’d like. Sometimes, we may have a bad day. Sometimes we may make a bad call. However, we are always trying to improve the forum. If you have concerns, complaints, or objections to our decisions, please contact us and let us know. We do welcome constructive criticism from the PBF community. You do not have to like all of the moderators on this forum, but we ask you to be civil.


[13] No topic-spamming
No spamming the forum. If you make a post about something, please do so in the appropriate section, and please do so only ONCE. Do not post your topic in several different forums so that it gets more attention—this wastes bandwidth and storage space on the server. And, it's very annoying if people who are trying to follow the discussion must look in several places to do so.

[14] Dude, Where's my post?
Sometimes the moderation team will take similar posts and threads, and merge them together. Sometimes the moderation team will take posts that stray off-topic, and split them off to a separate thread. Sometimes, if a post seems to violate our community norms too much, the moderation team will edit it, or remove it altogether. In such cases, we'll often let you know by personal message; but sometimes we forget, or don't have time, etc. If you don't see your post where you expected to, please look around the forum or use the "View your posts" feature (and perhaps make a habit of using the "subscribe" feature for topics that interest you). If you still don't find it, do not post a duplicate or start a "where did my post go" thread. Rather, please send a PM to a moderator.

[15] No libel; no defamation
Members may not make libelous or defamatory posts against others—that means no assaults on the character of others, no posting of false information about others, and no statements that (in the opinion of the moderation team) appear malicious. Putting these kinds of things into circulation opens you up to potential legal problems. This does not mean you cannot question someone about their practices—you can—but it does mean that you cannot present untruthful information as fact, and you may not post malicious statements or information here. If you know of a serious problem involving a member, rescue, or organization posting here and you cannot keep it to yourself, please PM a moderator and we will decide how to proceed.

[16] Don't feed the animals
Any post that appears intentionally made to degrade or disrupt a thread, and/or posts that the moderators deem to be malicious, may result in a warning to the offending member. Warnings will be sent via private message, and repeated warnings may result in temporary or permanent suspension of your posting privileges.

[17] No ganging up
Members should avoid "piling on" or "ganging up" on other members. It is not conducive to the community spirit we would like to foster at PBF.

[18] No religion; no non-dog politics
Please leave discussions about politics and religions at the door. We’ve found these topics to be divisive and the source of hurt feelings, anger, and negativity here. For a number of years now, PBF has been a religion-and-politics free zone. And we like it that way.

[19] PG-13 or milder
Members may not post sexually explicit material. "Hot guys and girls" threads are OK, but please don’t post nude photos, pornographic materials, or obscene jokes. We like to maintain a reasonably family-friendly atmosphere here at PBF.

[20] One login account per person
Each member is allowed one personal login account, and we ask that people not share logins with others—to reduce confusion, please create and use your own login name rather than posting using someone else’s login. Creating multiple accounts may result in removal of both accounts without notice. Exceptions may be made for rescue or advocacy organizations, which may create one individual account (for one's personal dog ownership and opinions) and one account for the organization.

[21] Community watch
You can help the moderation team by using the "report to moderator" buttons when you see a thread or a post that is violating our community norms. Once a thread / post is reported, the mods / admins will deal with it. We usually will let you know that we're handling it, but we usually will not tell you what specific action we took to handle it.

[22] We reserve the right to refuse service
PBF is a private forum, owned and run by private individuals, and posting here is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to deny access to those who we think may be detrimental to the community. Likewise, we reserve the right to revoke membership of individuals who are disruptive, who break rules, or who we feel are trolling for trouble on the forum.

[23] Admins and mods enforce the rules (which are subject to change) ...
As a dynamic and ever-changing community, we cannot anticipate every situation that may occur. Therefore, we reserve the right to take any actions we deem appropriate to ensure that the forum and its members are not mistreated unduly. That may mean locking of the occasional thread, removing threads that may violate the rules, or taking disciplinary action against members, at the discretion of the moderation team.

[24] ... but sometimes it takes a little time, and we're not liable for what people post here
Administrators and moderators will attempt to remove or edit any generally objectionable material as quickly as possible, but please keep in mind that it is impossible to review every message right away. By posting on Pitbullforum.com, you acknowledge that posts made to this forum express the views and opinions of the individuals making those posts, and not Pitbullforum.com or its administrators, moderators or webmaster. The forum, its administrators, and its moderators will not be held liable for the actions of the forum’s members.

[25] To discourage misbehavior
The moderation team will, at its discretion and depending on the severity of a violation, impose penalties for violating these rules. Penalties may include editing or removing posts, locking or removing threads, warning and 90-day probation, temporary suspension of posting privileges, or permanent expulsion from the forum. We find that a very small percentage of members cause the vast majority of the moderating workload, and we may elect to temporarily or permanently ban repeat offenders.

[26] Intellectual property
You grant to PitBullForum.com irrevocable license to publish your postings here. You can't force us to remove your postings — though in some situations, we might agree to do so. Also, please respect the legal rights of copyright holders, and don't post someone else's intellectual property here as though it were your own.
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Re: ***Rules of the Board. Please Read Before Posting***

Postby BabyReba » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:55 pm

Answers to some frequently asked questions . . .

Why does so-and-so get crap from members for rehoming a dog when others don't? Why do people pick on me for buying from a BYB when others never hear about it? Why is my rescue questioned when other rescues seem to never have to answer any questions about their practices? Why was that thread locked when this one isn't?

Here's our best answer for all of these questions, and probably more: Because this is a forum made up of many individuals with wildly varying opinions, biases, and yes, hostilities, there will sometimes be inconsistencies on the board. The board, in and of itself, does not hold an opinion—not on you, not on how you train your dog, not on what rescue is better than another. The members of this board hold the opinions. Although many people here hold similar feelings on a number of topics, it’s not the job of the board or the moderators to try to insist that people fall into step with any dominant line of thinking. Even among our moderation team, there are differences of opinion, and we think that’s healthy.

The job of the moderators is not to police people's opinions or feelings on topics. Rather, it is to facilitate discussion and encourage the exchange of information about pit bulls, responsible ownership, health, best practices, rescue, sports, and so on. The board has some basic standards that we try to maintain--those include keeping the bad breeders out, encouraging people to learn more about responsible breeding if they absolutely "must" have a purebred puppy, and encouraging and supporting rescue.

People here are allowed to ask questions of other posters, disagree with other posters, and challenge other posters' practices.

We do not require that some people be treated with kid gloves while others are beat about the head. We don't require that people act like they like one another. And, quite frankly, we have no interest in requiring that. As a result, we can't require that every single person in similar situations gets treated exactly the same. It's just not possible. Some of you may do things and slide by with nothing but pats on the back for your actions; others may get criticism and not receive any support at all. That's sort of the nature of people--they tend to treat people they know, like, and trust well; they tend to treat people they don't know, don't like, or feel wronged by, differently. The mods and admins can't force people to treat everyone even-handedly.

All we can do--and what we try to do--is lock threads when they seem to have gotten out of hand, usually when criticism and discussion is being directed in a nasty or snarky or mean-spirited way; or remove posts that seem particularly out-of-line, inflammatory, or totally off topic.

We lock threads when:

There is hostility, rather than constructive discussion and criticism. YES members can question you, they can express their lack of approval of your actions. They just have to hold back on the hostility--overt or passive-aggressive, both are bad.

We see that posters are beginning to "gang up" on others.

A thread is nothing but an attack on another individual or their ideas (we may even remove the thread if that's what we perceive it to be).

We think the thread has run its course and has devolved into negativity.


We remove posts when:

They derail useful discussions by being belligerent, off-topic, or they violate our rules.

We see that they are posted to instigate others, or when we feel that they may be perceived as instigating others.

The post is an overt attack on another. Not questioning, not discussing, not disagreeing, those are all OK to do. It is attacking that we do not permit. No name-calling or insults, no belligerent language to others.


Before the mods take action, though, we often want to confer--which means that sometimes we are trying to decide what action to take before we take any. Unfortunately, people seem to want swift and brutal justice meted out whenever they feel a thread has taken a wrong turn. We're trying to be somewhat thoughtful here, and that simply takes time. Not all of our moderators are on the board at all times, and sometimes things simply get missed. If you see an egregious breach of rules, please feel free to report a post or send a PM to a moderator—don’t assume we already know it’s happening.

We have just unveiled a new set of rules, which are far more detailed and specific than the old set of rules we used to operate under. The new rules will give the moderators a clearer path when trying to figure out how and when someone has actually violated our code of conduct here.

If a member does break a rule, the moderators may issue that member a warning. We are no longer attaching skulls to people’s profiles—warnings are now a private matter and the moderators will keep tabs on who has received warnings and for what. Once you receive a warning, it will automatically drop off within 90 days unless you receive another warning within that time period. Members who accrue three warnings over time may be banned at the discretion of the moderators.

The moderators may also decide to simply ban someone without warning who is considered a hindrance to the well-being of the community, who makes an egregious rules infraction, or who simply proves to be a continual problem child on the forum.
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