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MESSAGE BOARD HOUSE RULES
While the TONY ISABELLA MESSAGE BOARD is a forum open to the public, it is a forum that insists on posters following certain basic rules of conduct to insure an atmosphere of congeniality. I'll try to cover as many of these as possible in this message, but, when in doubt, just remember that you are, in effect, a guest in MY house and act accordingly.
Once again, this is my house. I'll do my best to be a good host. Please do your best to be a good guest.
- This message board is intended as a supplement to my Internet column TONY'S ONLINE TIPS for World Famous Comics and my print and online columns for Comics Buyer's Guide. While posters aren't required to read the columns to participate, I can't imagine why they would *want* to post here if they weren't at least occasionally reading the source material or other things I've written. That said, comics do not exist in a vacuum. This board is open for the discussion of just about anything as long as the discussion itself is civil and the language is suitable for all ages.
- Spam will be deleted (along with any responses to it, so don't bother) and the perpetrator immediately blocked from posting. This includes anonymous hype for comics-related projects, or using this board solely for comics sales. If you want to plug your project here, contact me and get an OK before posting, and do it under your real name and a viable e-mail address. The posting features do include an option for listing your eBay sale items, but don't abuse this; if your only presence here is to hawk your wares, I will ask you to take your advertising elsewhere.
- I do not welcome anonymous posters. The very few people who post here regularly under a "handle" rather than their real names, or with no e-mail address shown on their posts, do so with my express permission...which they got by contacting me or the board moderator privately with their real name and a working e-mail address, along with a good reason for keeping either out of the public view. I won't remove someone automatically for posting anonymously, as long as their post doesn't violate the board rules, but an infraction that would earn someone else a warning will quite possibly get an anonymous poster banned.
- This board is not a place for defamatory, inflammatory, or insulting behavior or language. The foul of mouth and troll-ish of demeanor are not welcome here. If they persist in such behavior, all their postings will be deleted, regardless of content.
Language that your family newspaper won't print, or that you wouldn't use in front of your kids or someone else's, is not appropriate here. If you find it necessary to post a quote containing an unprintable word, please redact it to a point where it's not easily readable or substitute a less offensive term; what word the reader fills in should be between them, their vocabulary and their conscience.
A troll is someone who posts outrageous statements simply to try and make people upset, the online version of a pyromaniac. One of the best defenses against such a poster is to simply ignore him. If you think a poster is a troll, just ignore him and let us bag him, tag his ear, and release him into the wild...where he'll doubtless be eaten by even larger predators.
My definition of trolling behavior includes using this board as a soapbox for conspiracy theories, for racial or social bigotry, or for provoking fights between other fans and/or professionals. These social diseases of fandom and the Net have no place in my little corner of it.
- There's not much that isn't fair game here, but your fellow posters are off-limits. You can disagree forcefully - including with me - but be civil and be prepared to back up your arguments with provable facts where necessary.
My suggestion would be to have a sense of proportion re: this board. Most posters have some common ground on some issues. The same poster whose opinions on one issue infuriate you may support your position on another. If you can't resolve an argument, agree to disagree and don't keep trying to get the last word. Threads that heat up to the point of personal attacks, or devolve to people repeating themselves in increasingly loud or inflammatory voices, will be closed down and may be deleted entirely.
- Don't try to get cute with the above. Put the brainwork into expressing yourself in the first place rather than thinking up technical justifications why your post didn't break the rules. Enough people have tried this Ð not many, but enough Ð that I'm out of patience with it.
- On a similar note, I have in the past allowed considerable leeway when I myself am the target of scorn and derision. I'm out of patience with that, too. It's my board, I don't make dime one off of it, and I have the right to enjoy it as much or more than anyone. If you can't handle that, go find yourself another party.
- Celebrities are also fair game, but, geez, they make it so darn easy, it's hardly worth the effort.
- The board is monitored by myself, by moderator Don Hilliard, by webmaster Justin, and by several assistants who have the authority to delete the posts of repeat or blatant offenders. There may be a private or public warning before deletions occur, but they and I are under no obligation to call 'Halt' before firing. I can't guarantee offensive posts won't appear, but I can guarantee they won't remain for long.
- There is no court of appeals. It's my board and I call the shots. I hate dropping the hammer on any poster, but I'll do it when I feel it's for the good of the board.
June 6, 2007
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