This page defines the terms of service for using our mailing lists.
We request that all users of our site abide by the rules we have defined
for their use. If you're unwilling or unable to abide by these rules,
please do not use our services. Repeat violators of our rules may find
their usage privileges reduced or revoked.
Rules for Using Our Services
We are trying to keep our usage rules simple, to give our users as
much flexibility as we can while protecting them from the abusers. We
want to assume that our users are mature adults and will act appropriately,
and work with us to abide by the spirit of the rules; by doing so, we
can avoid a list of rules that looks like they were written by a lawyer
with a headache...
We have two key rules for using our sites:
- If you are using one of our mailing lists and see something you
feel is inappropriate, please report it to the administrator of the
list, or to <email@example.com>.
Do not attempt to 'fix' the problem yourself -- that almost always
makes it worse, and many times gets in the way of an administrator
who's already working on it. Also, trying to do it yourself will probably
get you in trouble with us instead of (or with) the other person,
and you won't like that. Let the people in charge handle it.
- If an administrator asks you to stop doing something, stop doing
it. If you disagree with the request, we'll talk about it, but ultimately,
this isn't a democracy. The site admins have the final say. If a non-administrator
asks you to stop doing something -- use your judgment. If you agree
with the complaint, stop. If not, you decline politely, or ask the
administrator to mediate. If a disagreement escalates into a flamewar,
everyone involved could be subject to disciplinary action.
If we don't get complaints, it's difficult for us to act on them, because
we aren't mind-readers. If you don't like how something is being managed
or used, let us know, but please don't assume that because you complain
we will do something -- we'll investigate and decide what (if anything)
needs to be done on a case by case basis.
There are a few things which we will not tolerate, and which can lead
to losing your posting privileges or be completely banned from the site,
and possibly reported to your ISP for further action:
- Attempts to "hack" the site or circumvent site security.
- Abuse of the site, the administrators, or the users of this site.
- Posting chain letters or any of the e-mail hoaxes circulating the
net. If the hoax is already documented in one of the hoax sites (like
Center or the Ciac hoaxbusters
page, posting it is grounds for removal from our sites. We are very
serious about killing these hoaxes off the net, and we have no tolerance
of people who forward them around without doing basic research as
to whether they're accurate or not. These things are nothing more
than viruses -- e-mail viruses that infect mailing lists. If you infect
our lists, we'll treat it as a serious offense.
- Excessive profanity or inappropriate language. We are tolerant of
some profanity, but we also realize that some of our members are upset
by its use. We don't believe it makes sense to outlaw it outright,
but we also want our users to be sensitive to the other members of
the list and show some discretion. We don't like to make occasional
use an issue, but when it gets out of control, we'll ask you to tone
- Any attempt to collect e-mail addresses, or to use e-mail addresses
or any user information on this site for any purpose not directly
related to this site. We explicitly deny permission for you to use
any user information for any purpose other than discussions involving
the mailing lists, or to collect user information off our site.
- Spamming or commercial posts -- Commercial postings must be approved
by the list admin before posting them. All advertising and commercial
postings not directly related to the content of the list will be considered
spamming and will be treated as such with banning from the site and
reporting your activities to your ISP.
We reserve the right to report cases of extreme abuse to a user's ISP
for further disciplinary action.
A few notes on netiquette
Here are a few hints on being a good citizen on our services:
- Try to stay on topic -- but realize that topics will wander, just
as a conversation at a party does. If a topic wanders, be patient,
tune out or change the subject. Don't yell at people about it.
- Keep your messages short -- succinct is good. Long and rambling
- Spelling and Grammar do matter. The Internet is a written medium,
and poorly written or sloppy messages make it hard for other users
to take the content seriously. If you don't care enough about your
thoughts to present them well, why should anyone else care about them?
- Don't guess -- if you don't know the answer to a question, don't
guess. Look it up, or let someone else answer it. There are few things
more frustrating to a user than to ask a question and get four answers,
only one of which can be right -- and not knowing which one is.
- Edit included messages in replies to minimize the amount of text.
The more you surround your words with included text in a message,
the less likely people will find and read them.
If you want more information on issues of Network Etiquette, we recommend