MODEL TRAIN FORUM RULES AND GUIDELINES
Although the primary focus of this site is and always has been trains, we also have a non-technical community area where members may enjoy interacting socially with each other in the Union Station forum. Please remember that these forums are provided as a courtesy and as such, all we ask in return is that you respect the site, its administration and the guidelines put forward in order to ensure their continued existence for many years to come.
The Union Station forum is intended for more light-hearted socializing, such as talking about hobbies, music, weather, sports or sharing recipes, jokes, etc.
You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not intentionally post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, adult material, or otherwise in violation of any International or United States Federal law.
We consider this a "family site" and the guidelines we use to moderate the discussion forums are loosely based on the "PG-13" rating for movies. Therefore, profanity should be avoided, as well as any other inappropriate conduct, as outlined in the general site rules.
The MTF membership reflects a wide variety of ages, native languages, nationalities and cultures. One of the most common causes of conflict is simply the failure to understand and respect their differences so please keep this in mind when posting.
Relationships develop here that result in some degree of banter between members. These may appear to be personal attacks but they are acceptable as long as they are made in good fun and not in poor taste. If you are not the member being addressed in these situations then please do not report these posts unless, of course, their content is particularly offensive and/or violates any of the other general site rules.
Moderators are not here to enforce personal or individual views of what constitutes "good taste". The "Ignore" button is provided to help users do that for themselves, if they find another member to be particularly annoying.
This is a constitutional right afforded to citizens of most countries in the world and while you are free to say what you want, you may NOT do so where you want. The Model Train Forum is a privately owned forum, funded with private funds and legal advertising that go toward paying for bandwidth, software licenses and servers. As a privately owned and financed forum we are not subject to "Freedom of Speech" legislation. With that said, we will allow "free speech" insofar as that free speech does not contravene our forum rules. The rules of the forum are in place to protect the forum and the environment where all our members interact.
The Union Station forum is intended for more light-hearted socializing, such as talking about hobbies, music, weather, sports or sharing recipes, jokes, etc. Please refrain from posting on political topics as they tend to disrupt the decorum of this forum. Any posts that in the judgment of the forum management don't meet those guidelines will be removed without further comment. Any replies that include quotes from removed comments will be removed as well.
ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS
Should you find a post objectionable or offensive, do NOT address the poster in question on the boards. This is inflammatory posting and only serves to incite retaliation and escalate the situation. Please use the report button to notify the moderators of the situation and they will take any action that's deemed necessary. However, please be sure not to abuse the report button by overusing it or making unfounded and/or frivolous reports.
If you don't agree with the action taken (or not taken) after reporting an incident then contact a Moderator privately for further discussion. If the matter in question involves a Moderator then contact another Moderator or Administrator. Please allow 24 hours for them to respond.
Following that, should you require further clarification then contact one of the site Administrators.
Finally, if you're still not satisfied with the explanations given then, as a last resort, contact the site owner whose decision is final.
Moderators and Administrators are not obligated to explain or justify any actions or decisions imposed although they do generally post the reason for any such action in the thread in question as a courtesy and to avoid any confusion.
Under no circumstances shall any action, decision or rule change made by the administration (moderators and/or administrators) be discussed, argued or criticized on the message boards. Any such posts or threads will be promptly deleted without notice or explanation.
Any disparaging or disrespectful remarks regarding this site and/or its Moderators, Administrators, rules and/or actions taken will not be tolerated in order to preserve the integrity and mutual respect within the community that we all enjoy.
Members are welcome to contact a Moderator or an Administrator for clarification or to express their concerns and/or appeal any action taken for review.
Off-topic posts are inevitable and can be fun but these should be kept to a minimum so as not to cause too much distraction or disrupt the flow of the threads. "Hijacking" a thread for another purpose is not acceptable and any such posts will be deleted without notice or explanation.
Do not create the same thread in multiple forums, or make the same post in multiple threads. This is called cross-posting, and doing this will result in one or more of your posts being deleted. Repeated instances of this practice may result in additional action by a Moderator or Administrator.
It is illegal to post copyrighted articles in their entirety. Therefore, do NOT post full articles. If you see anyone who has done so, please report it so that it can be removed. You may quote a small section of an article as long as you also provide a link to the source.
Failure to comply with any of these guidelines may result in a warning, infraction, or a temporary/permanent ban from the site, at the discretion of the administration.
MARKET PLACE POSTINGS
We have several sub-forum sections specifically devoted to "for sale" and "want to buy" threads. These include:
-- For Sale or Trade (Member-to-Member):
This forum is for non-commercial, member-to-member offerings. All items posted for sale here are required to have a price listed, but feel free to state OBO (or best offer) after said price if you are open to negotiation. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you include pictures, but if you do not be prepared for members to hound you over not having any.
-- For Sale Elsewhere (eBay, other forums, etc.):
If you have an item for sale, we would encourage you to offer it directly to our members, using the Member-to-Member section, above. You might find a more personal / targetted response that way. However, if you choose to offer the item(s) on another site, you can post a link here, in this section.
-- Product Promotion:
If you're a commercial dealer, vendor, manufacturer, or the like, you can offer a description of a new item and/or services here.
-- Retailer Deals:
Note the emphasis on "deals" ... If you're a commercial dealer, vendor, manufacturer, or the like you can offer items and/or services for sale at a discounted price/rate here.
Please do not create "for sale" posts and the like in any other forum sections than those referenced above.
All postings in Market Place sections are at your own risk. If a deal goes bad, Model Train Forum staff or ownership is not liable for any losses and can't help you recover them. It is a good idea to know who you're dealing with when buying and selling in the forum, that minimizes your risk of loss or disappointment.
Here at the Model Train Forum we have an automatic spam detector to help keep the boards clean... Unfortunately it is not 100% perfect or fool-proof, so sometimes a legitimate post is hidden from view and needs to be approved by a moderator before it actually shows up on the forum... If this happens to you, please do not worry as your post should be approved within 24 hours... One last thing, once you hit the ten post mark your posts are no longer sent through the spam filter so there will not be any problems
For clarification, ALL MEMBERS can post images, but if you have less than 10 posts and are hosting the images on a third party site, they will simply need to be approved before they show up here on the forum... So new members, do not feel that posting images causes a hassle for anyone, because it is no big issue
ADMINISTRATORS and MODERATORS
While our rules cover the majority of incidents that may occur, we cannot anticipate all circumstances, and as such, the Administrators or Moderators of The Model Train Forum reserve the right to adjudicate, and take ANY actions we deem appropriate, in any circumstances. This is to ensure that the forum is not disrupted or brought into disrepute, either willfully, or by association with a member. An Administrator's decision in any matter referred to him/her is final.
We further reserve the right to take any of the following actions, either ourselves, or by other staff members who are empowered to do so i.e. Administrators or Moderators:
To remove or modify offensive posts without notice.
To restrict the permissions of a user, or their ability to access any specified forum.
To ban anyone who violates the forum rules.
To delete any thread which is in breach of the rules, without notice.
The Administrators and Moderators also reserve the right to share e-mails, personal messages and information from users relating to forum management issues, among themselves, for the purpose of decision making. If you feel that your issue is too personal to be shared or discussed, please stipulate this fact in your correspondence clearly, and in ALL subsequent correspondence.
Valid as of 04 December 2012.