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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
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Post alert function etiquette

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  • Post alert function etiquette

    This BB is a community with upwards of 30,000 "residents." There are only four moderators. We cannot possibly read every thread and every post here, so we rely rather heavily on community self-policing via the post alert function. We absolutely encourage forum members to use it whenever they see something they think the moderators might want to know about. One of us will go take a look, and we may or may not agree with you that something needs to be done. If the thread is left alone, you can assume we disagreed with you and thought the thread was OK.

    We do not usually answer post alerts. If you want to ask a question, email or PM a moderator directly. The post alerts are not meant to start a conversation or debate why a thread is open or closed. Post alerts are simply meant to alert us to a problem.

    We greatly appreciate the people who understand that we are human and have other obligations and interests, and do their part to try to help keep the neighborhood neat and tidy. You make our jobs much, much easier. But what we do NOT appreciate are post alerts that are snarky and full of attitude.

    Here are some tips on how responsible BBers should/should not use the post alert system:

    DO send in an alert if you think a thread is starting to turn into a trainwreck. We would much rather be able to step in early and get a thread back on track than deal with ten pages of posts that need to be edited or deleted later.

    DO NOT post on a thread "Where are the moderators???!" in lieu of sending in an alert. We are not omniscient. We do not read everything. And it is extremely likely that we are never going to see your post buried on page 12 of one of 200 threads that are currently active. Use the post alert function instead.

    DO send in an alert for obvious spam (cell phones, computers, iPods, etc. for sale). We remove those threads and ban those people immediately to prevent them from getting ANY traffic or inquiries from this site (and therefore coming back here to post more spam).

    DO send alerts for posts that violate our no adverting policy, threads that are in the wrong forum and should be moved, or anything else that you think the moderators might not have seen yet that is in violation of the rules.

    DO NOT send repeated alerts for the same post/thread. This will not get us to a thread any faster, and in fact, will only make us REALLY ANNOYED with you when we are back at our computers.

    DO NOT snark or otherwise heap attitude in your post alert. The alert function is merely an easy way for you to let the moderators know that they might want to look at a particular thread. You do not get to demand, threaten, or otherwise insist that we do your bidding. Our forum, our rules, and we are The Deciders. That is the way it works.

    DO NOT send in post alerts screaming "WHY IS THIS BEING ALLOWED???!!! YOU ARE BIASED AND UNFAIR!!!!!" First of all, unless YOU have previously sent in a post alert on this thread, you have absolutely no idea if it is "being allowed." More than likely, we don't even know it exists. So just send a polite alert letting us know. If nothing is done, then you can POLITELY contact a moderator and ask NICELY for clarification.

    If you have sent in an alert and nothing is done, DO NOT send in another. Guess what? We haven't done anything because, in our opinion, nothing needs to be done. You may not agree with our actions, and that's fine. We don't expect everyone to agree. But when you participate here, you agree respect OUR rules and OUR decisions. If they are not to your liking, you are free to find another BB that suits you better.

    If you are caught breaking the rules, DO NOT send in alert after alert on old threads that you think are ALSO breaking the rules. If you didn't care enough to alert us to these threads before you yourself got busted for something, then we don't want to hear about it now. You won't get out of a speeding ticket if other people on the highway are speeding but the cop with the radar gun happens to clock YOU. Likewise, the fact that other people might have broken rules does not excuse you if YOU break them. Next time, send in those alerts, and then those other rule breakers won't get away with it.

    Please use the post alert button with care. We can -- and absolutely will -- ban posters from the forum if they abuse the post alert system.
    Last edited by Erin; Aug. 21, 2007, 02:47 PM.