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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

When it came to overt criminal allegations, however, those discussions have in the past needed to stem from a report by a reputable news source or action by law enforcement or the legal system.

We are now expanding our policies to allow posters to share their own first-hand experiences involving overt criminal allegations, such as animal abuse or neglect, theft, etc., but only if they publicly provide their full first and last name along with the post. We still will not allow anonymous postings alleging criminal activity.

So, a user may now make a specific claim against a named individual or company, but it must be a FIRST-HAND account, and they have to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. Users have always been legally responsible for their posts, and nothing has changed there, but we want to loosen the reins a bit and further allow the free flow of discussion and information relevant to the horse community.

We are not providing a free-for-all of anonymous rumor-mongering. As enduring advocates for the welfare of the horse, we want to provide a forum for those willing to sign their name and shine a light on issues of concern to them in the industry.

The full revised rules are posted at the top of each forum for reference.
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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 may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums’ policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

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 5/9/18)
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Respectful Request to MODS

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  • Respectful Request to MODS

    I miss Off Topic

    Is there a possibility of reopening the forum and banning any & all political threads/posts?
    Chicken BB That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, that I used for a while, sent warnings to members who got nasty & if ignored resulted in first a Timeout from posting, then permanent Ban.
    If COTH has the same policy I am not aware of it (having never been warned off)
    Or is it Just.Too.Much.Work?

    I loved reading of horsepeoples' lives outside of horses: gardening, cooking, decorating, affaires du coeur... etc
    I miss having the sort of kaffe klatch atmosphere OT provided to members.
    How will I ever know if any future Chicken escaped the Oven?
    Or get a new recipe to bring to a potluck?
    Or go green with envy over a COTH garden?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

  • #2
    Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    I miss Off Topic

    Is there a possibility of reopening the forum and banning any & all political threads/posts?
    Chicken BB That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, that I used for a while, sent warnings to members who got nasty & if ignored resulted in first a Timeout from posting, then permanent Ban.
    If COTH has the same policy I am not aware of it (having never been warned off)
    Or is it Just.Too.Much.Work?

    I loved reading of horsepeoples' lives outside of horses: gardening, cooking, decorating, affaires du coeur... etc
    I miss having the sort of kaffe klatch atmosphere OT provided to members.
    How will I ever know if any future Chicken escaped the Oven?
    Or get a new recipe to bring to a potluck?
    Or go green with envy over a COTH garden?
    I am with you. I understand why it was done away with but boy do I miss my eye-opening, experience-sharing, advice-giving, recipe sharing people!! COTH is my community and I love reading all of the collective wisdom, especially this time of year, where the holidays come up.

    plus, it's about that time of year where SO ruins the turkey by brining it for a week, and I kvetch about it on COTH!
    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

    Comment


    • #3
      I miss it too. It would be nice the mods would reconsider. I wouldn't even care if they had a political thread and just let it rip as long as the political stuff stayed where it belonged.
      Last edited by cayuse; Oct. 1, 2018, 01:43 PM. Reason: spelling

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cayuse View Post
        I miss it too. It would be nice the mods would reconsider. I wouldn't even care if they had a plotical thread and just let it rip as long as the political stuff stayed where it belonged.
        The problem is, it does not stay where it belongs which the last thread asking about off topic proved.

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        • #5
          I expect the powers that be are every day reconsidering this same question.

          They know everyone is hunting that forum first thing every day, hoping ...

          They also know, "why keep repeating the same and expect a different results"?

          I would say that may be what is in their minds, if to try again and please many and how, so it is not the same result as several times have shown them that is how it ends, given the still out of hand divisive situation in real life.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post

            The problem is, it does not stay where it belongs which the last thread asking about off topic proved.
            Well I guess that was wishful thinking on my part . Human nature being what it is, I shoulda known better!

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            • #7
              I have been thinking the same thing ...I miss off topic. I have updates. I don't like to search the internet for individual groups. I respect what people have to say even if I don't agree. And we all love horses!

              Can't there be a block of those who ruin it for others? I think when OT first started I believe I had to be approved to join? I can't remember it's been so long.

              I so miss the variety and the information from OT.

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              • #8
                Fwiw, off topic was restricted to non political posts. We couldn't handle that. Then they allowed one political thread. We couldn't handle that. When it was closed, people brought the politics HERE, to help.

                As a community, we've proven repeatedly to not be able to handle off topic without it devolving into a political cluster eff.

                Unless the mods are willing to walk softly and carry a big banning stick, it's not going to work. There's a heavy handful that's all too willing to ignore the rules. And what's the threat of banning really mean when you can just sign up with another user name?

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                • #9
                  None of us posts political issues in any of the other forums because they are named: Hunter/Jumper, Racing, Dressage, etc. So why not get rid of Off Topic altogether and then add a new forum called Community Connections (or some similar title) with a tag line that pointedly steers the conversations to be about cooking/decorating/relationships/gardening etc -- all things non-political?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Good to know I am not alone in missing OT.

                    I understand some folks Just.Cannot.Leave.Politics.OUT!, but just as IRL, I tune out those whose opinions differ from mine.I do not always have to convert or convince others their thinking is (IMHO) in error.

                    Some close friends think in a way 180 degrees from me, but they have other qualities that keep me wanting to converse & hang out, leaving the controversy out of it.
                    I've gotten pretty good at tongue-biting as I get older.

                    Even if it sets my teeth on edge or raises my hackles, they can have their stance, I can have mine & after all, horses - or recipes or what-ever - bring us together, right?
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the challenge/problem for the Mods is that while most of us can tune the blather out, not everyone can and that, along with just flat out having to monitor the children's language and tone just make it more of a headache for the Mods and COTH.

                      As always IMO
                      If you see your glass as half empty, pour it into a smaller glass and stop b*tching

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for the thoughtful feedback everyone. We were planning to reopen at least for the long weekend, so get those topics ready.

                        danacat I'm thinking a return to the no-politics rule is in order, and I'm liking your idea of renaming/refocusing that forum so it's more narrow in scope and just takes that dynamic out of the equation...so it's not just "anything else goes." And if ya want to get more into current events and politics, you can pick another place that offers that. I've at least refreshed my well of patience enough to try!

                        I think I'll start a thread with name/guideline suggestions when we reopen for the weekend.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Moderator 1 View Post
                          Thanks for the thoughtful feedback everyone. We were planning to reopen at least for the long weekend, so get those topics ready.

                          danacat I'm thinking a return to the no-politics rule is in order, and I'm liking your idea of renaming/refocusing that forum so it's more narrow in scope and just takes that dynamic out of the equation...so it's not just "anything else goes." And if ya want to get more into current events and politics, you can pick another place that offers that. I've at least refreshed my well of patience enough to try!

                          I think I'll start a thread with name/guideline suggestions when we reopen for the weekend.
                          How 'bout that!

                          Maybe we can all contribute to that patience bucket by being extra careful with our words?

                          Genius moderating!
                          Thank you very much!

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                          • #14
                            I think I've expressed this before
                            If you see your glass as half empty, pour it into a smaller glass and stop b*tching

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                            • #15
                              I want to talk politics with horse people.

                              No one on the political thread got as nasty as they get elsewhere on this BB. COTH has a reputation for being extremely nasty and cutthroat in horse related discussions. The political thread was the most civil banter on the entire board. They're meaner on Menagerie and that's not horse related at all.
                              Power to the People

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                              • #16
                                I don't miss it. This is first and foremost a horse board. There are plenty of general boards in the ether that have lively political and other non-horse related conversations. Check out the Straight Dope or Giraffe.
                                Proud member of Appendix QH clique

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Happy Dance! I"m so glad. I run a Turboford car group (long story) on FaceBook with almost 7,000 members...and no politics allowed. Funny how well behaved these guys (mostly) are since I have that rule. It allows them to be focused on what they are interested in - 2.3 Ford motors - and I've only had to ban one or two from the list.

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                                  • #18
                                    Never mind, it's not that important.
                                    Last edited by Sswor; Oct. 4, 2018, 12:15 AM.
                                    Power to the People

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                                    • #19
                                      Can you see/post in OT now? I was having some trouble accessing it with a non-mod account, but I saw someone else has posted in it.

                                      I'm also having to phone-mod without wifi this weekend, so...

                                      Thanks!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        OT seems fully functional, thank you!

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