New Community Guidelines Announcement

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SHaines

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Update:


For any future questions or comments about moderation, please email community@futurenet.com to reach our full Community Team.

Thanks!





Hey folks,

The forum rules are getting an update for modern times, as the previous rules date back to 2013. This does mean some changes to the way issues of moderation are addressed, so I wanted to provide this post to give context to the changes. It’s important to note that this will not have any impact on the vast majority of people here and the intent isn’t to address any current issues but to clean up archaic systems.

The old rules could get overly complicated, with narrowly defined infractions receiving varying warning points, with certain point thresholds meaning differing length of posting privilege suspensions. While these point systems are commonplace on forums, they can muddy the waters when trying to maintain a healthy community, if folks aren't entirely clear on whether or not a post has a specific consequence, while people trying to argue that their specific post didn't run afoul of a very narrowly spelled out infraction. The new warning system is designed to be extremely easy to understand:
  • Every infraction of the rules will result in a Warning Point issued by a Moderator or Community Manager.
  • A warning message will be sent to any user violating the rules that contains a link to the updated Community Guidelines and will also include a description of what rule was violated. Every infraction will receive 1 Warning Point and any account that ever reaches 3 Warning Points will be permanently banned from the forums.
  • The substantially lower point threshold means we all will need to be aware of how we interact with others in the forums.
Regardless of the issue, everyone is capable of expressing their perspective without resorting to insults, so that's our expectation going forward across all of the various subforums (including Out of Bounds).

If you see a post that violates the updated Community Guidelines, please use the Report option available on every post. By reporting violations, they can be cleaned up quickly and the community can continue to engage in discussions and respectful disagreements.

If you have questions or concerns, please let us know in a reply to this post, or email our Community Managers directly: community@futurenet.com.

This thread will be open for replies for one week, then any questions or concerns about moderation can still be sent directly to the Community Managers via the email address above.

Thanks so much for being part of the Golf Monthly community!
 
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SHaines

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Is this the death knell of the forum?
You’ll end up with hardly anyone left
Based on my more than three decades of experience with online forums, every change will feel like the death knell to some. I suspect we'll be just fine, but if you have specific concerns about any individual rule, feel free to ping me directly and we can discuss it.
 

pauljames87

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Based on my more than three decades of experience with online forums, every change will feel like the death knell to some. I suspect we'll be just fine, but if you have specific concerns about any individual rule, feel free to ping me directly and we can discuss it.

Do these warnings ever expire? For example we can't swear (fully accept this) however I posted the word shot on my phone and it corrected it to another word .. if I didn't notice and I'm on 2 warnings from 2023 and it's 2027 your banned forever ?
 

Orikoru

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Question: Is there any capacity for warnings to expire after a set amount of time (like driving license points)? I have sworn on here completely by accident in the past - not abusing anyone, just as part of general speech that I forgot to proofread before posting. It would be a shame to use up a third of one's warnings forever on a simple mistake such as that.

Edit: Paul beat me.
 

SHaines

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Do these warnings ever expire? For example we can't swear (fully accept this) however I posted the word shot on my phone and it corrected it to another word .. if I didn't notice and I'm on 2 warnings from 2023 and it's 2027 your banned forever ?
The old infractions won't be applied to the new system, so no, you're not going to get into any trouble for those issues. Changes can be scary, which is why this post is important, so I do hope folks will ask all of their questions here.

We do not want to ever ban any user from the forums. As you can imagine, we benefit from having more users. Our goal isn't to get rid of users, but to encourage the users we have to engage in good faith discussions without resorting to insults. Moderators and Community Managers will have the flexibility to make judgment calls based on context, so people shouldn't freak out over potential mistakes.

There is also an appeal process available to everyone, so if you are ever banned and feel it was a mistake, just email our team: community@futurenet.com and we'll follow up with you directly.
 

pauljames87

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The old infractions won't be applied to the new system, so no, you're not going to get into any trouble for those issues. Changes can be scary, which is why this post is important, so I do hope folks will ask all of their questions here.

We do not want to ever ban any user from the forums. As you can imagine, we benefit from having more users. Our goal isn't to get rid of users, but to encourage the users we have to engage in good faith discussions without resorting to insults. Moderators and Community Managers will have the flexibility to make judgment calls based on context, so people shouldn't freak out over potential mistakes.

Appreciate the reply, do the new warnings expire at all or is it right you get 3 strikes anytime going forward and your out or do they drop off after a time?
 

SHaines

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Appreciate the reply, do the new warnings expire at all or is it right you get 3 strikes anytime going forward and your out or do they drop off after a time?
We do not have expirations on the points, but that's to give us the flexibility to remove folks who've made the decision that the rules don't apply to them. The vast majority of you will probably never deal with moderation on any of your posts. Those who do, will be given two warnings that they need to stick to the rules. If they continue to ignore them, then they'll be removed and all the remaining users won't have to deal with their posts ever again. In the end, by removing some folks who've chosen not to be here, we can actually make things more appealing for new users who may not want to dive into the discussion, if they see a bunch of people belittling others for their opinions.
 

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Almost everyone who posted regularly for many years, and have then been black balled, return under another name. Some learn their lesson, other don't, can you stop them?
 

SHaines

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Almost everyone who posted regularly for many years, and have then been black balled, return under another name. Some learn their lesson, other don't, can you stop them?
We won't provide specific mechanisms for how we find problematic users, but there are ways to track quite a few things that help us have a sense of who is who. If people who were previously banned create new accounts, they don't get the three point warning system, we'll just immediately ban the account, per the guidelines. Folks aren't allowed to create alternate accounts to bypass bans, so anyone who does try that out will get pretty tired of creating new accounts and will, most likely, move on at some point.
 

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Appreciate the reply, do the new warnings expire at all or is it right you get 3 strikes anytime going forward and your out or do they drop off after a time?
Maybe it can be based on the worst 8 of your previous 20 misdemeanors? :p
Question: Is there any capacity for warnings to expire after a set amount of time (like driving license points)? I have sworn on here completely by accident in the past - not abusing anyone, just as part of general speech that I forgot to proofread before posting. It would be a shame to use up a third of one's warnings forever on a simple mistake such as that.

Edit: Paul beat me.
I don't understand why a forum that is so anti-swearing doesn't just enable a language filter when posting.
 

SHaines

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I don't understand why a forum that is so anti-swearing doesn't just enable a language filter when posting.
We do have a filter, but when you have folks using variations of words to bypass them, or when people just insert their own asterisks, everyone is still seeing the language in their head.

If the rule is not to swear, folks shouldn't swear. There are a ton of places online to swear as much as you want. This forum just isn't one of them. Anyone who chooses not to abide with the rules will be quickly removed and then the active users can carry on without them.
 

sjw

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We do have a filter, but when you have folks using variations of words to bypass them, or when people just insert their own asterisks, everyone is still seeing the language in their head.

If the rule is not to swear, folks shouldn't swear. There are a ton of places online to swear as much as you want. This forum just isn't one of them. Anyone who chooses not to abide with the rules will be quickly removed and then the active users can carry on without them.
Ok, genuine question - what do you do if you want to quote something that someone said out on the course, that was amusing or funny, but contained swearing? Because I thought asterisks would've been the go-to there.
 

Banchory Buddha

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Question: Is there any capacity for warnings to expire after a set amount of time (like driving license points)? I have sworn on here completely by accident in the past - not abusing anyone, just as part of general speech that I forgot to proofread before posting. It would be a shame to use up a third of one's warnings forever on a simple mistake such as that.

Edit: Paul beat me.
Same, I was describing a set of clubs I'd tried, that i hit them like *sharn*, and the forum prude banned me. Ridiculous.
 

Orikoru

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Ok, genuine question - what do you do if you want to quote something that someone said out on the course, that was amusing or funny, but contained swearing? Because I thought asterisks would've been the go-to there.
Surely now that we have a filter we won't receive warnings for an accidental swearword that is correctly filtered out by the forum. Otherwise there's no point having a filter. I totally understand that people will get warnings for self-censoring and including the first letter of the word etc.
 

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Ok, genuine question - what do you do if you want to quote something that someone said out on the course, that was amusing or funny, but contained swearing? Because I thought asterisks would've been the go-to there.
Miss out the swearing element. If it's funny, it will still be funny. Don't try to sneak the word in, missing out one letter and replacing it with an exclamation mark or equivalent doesn't really hide what is being said.

GM doesn't want swearing linked to their brand. We have to remember that the forum is not simply a golf forum, it is a forum hosted by a golf magazine. They don't want postings on here that will look bad for the magazine.

Ultimately, it isn't hard to avoid.
 

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Surely now that we have a filter we won't receive warnings for an accidental swearword that is correctly filtered out by the forum. Otherwise there's no point having a filter. I totally understand that people will get warnings for self-censoring and including the first letter of the word etc.
I'm not willing to try it because I don't want to get on the wrong side of anyone, but it would be interesting to know if the filter prevents a post from being made at all, or if it posts with the offending word censored.
 

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I'm not willing to try it because I don't want to get on the wrong side of anyone, but it would be interesting to know if the filter prevents a post from being made at all, or if it posts with the offending word censored.
We've seen it already, it changes the word to three asterisks I believe - ***
 

SHaines

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Same, I was describing a set of clubs I'd tried, that i hit them like *sharn*, and the forum prude banned me. Ridiculous.
Well, as an American, I had to Google that to figure out what it meant, so at least I never would've caught it. Now that I've looked it up, I have better context for understanding this specific situation.

For the record, since swearing seems to be a big deal for folks here, I am not personally opposed to the use of swearing. If this forum were owned by me and called Steve's Weird Forum With Swearing But Not Much Else, I'd set the rules to, "do good swears," and be done with it. This isn't a forum for me though, it's a community meeting place for folks with a love of golf. We want everyone to feel welcome here, which means setting up standards of behavior.

When spending time with people we've known for decades we tend to have shorthand for certain things, or we speak to each other with a level of comfort that allows for people to say some wildly inappropriate things. All of that is entirely normal behavior for folks with whom we have close social ties. This forum isn't like your living room where only people you know well and have invited can spend their time. Folks from all around the world choose to come here when they can go literally anywhere else. When they choose to come here, we want to be a place where they feel like they can stay and find others to share their passion for the sport.

If I walk into a public space and there are people gathered around being loud and aggressive with strangers, I'm going to turn around and leave. Why would I choose to put myself in that position? If you'd do the same in real life, it's at least possible that others would feel this way about online spaces too.

The rule exists and will be enforced, so I sincerely hope folks can understand that this is just a place where you should avoid swearing. We all have to make our own choices here, but the rules will be enforced, so I hope folks are willing to make their points without swearing.

Surely now that we have a filter we won't receive warnings for an accidental swearword that is correctly filtered out by the forum. Otherwise there's no point having a filter. I totally understand that people will get warnings for self-censoring and including the first letter of the word etc.
I've seen (and done) some really bad accidental swearing in my time, which is completely normal. When a swear is a typo it's really easy to tell, in the vast majority of cases. In those cases Moderators or Community Managers can painlessly correct the typo and leave it at that. If the word is used in context and it's clear that the word was included despite the posted rules that we've very well publicized, then a warning will be given and the offending post removed.

Swearing is literally always optional, so we're just saying that our expectation is that you opt out of using it here. If your anecdote is only funny because of the use of a swear, it may not be that strong of an anecdote.
 
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