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Forum Rules & Community Standards


Internet forums are a little like publishing houses, in that writers submit material for publication, and the editor decides whether a submission is appropriate to their publication. Forums are unlike publishing houses in that all submissions are visible to anyone in the world with an internet connection before they are vetted for the appropriateness of their content. For this reason, writers are asked to follow a few simple rules. It is hoped that the following guidelines will assist those who wish to participate here.

The Fossil Forum is a venue for the sharing of a common interest in fossils (please note that, pursuant to this, we are fundamentally a science-based forum, and topics promulgating metaphysical, paranormal, or pseudo-scientific topics will be out of place). Participants in the resulting social network expect and deserve a respectful and courteous dialog. At all times, remember that it is possible to disagree without resorting to insult or sarcasm; use reason instead. If you feel a derogatory comment or an ad hominem coming on, keep it to yourself; if you are on the receiving end, do not respond. It is never acceptable to post negative characterizations of individuals or groups of people. Prejudicial opinions based on ethnicity, religious or political persuasion, profession, place of residence, etc. are not welcome. Seriously, if the point you want to make requires disparagement of others, it is not a topic for The Fossil Forum. Remember also that two thirds of communication (inflection and body-language) are missing in the on-line environment. You know what you want to say, but everyone else has to figure it out from what you write, so write with clarity, use the emoticons to clarify your meaning, and don't be too quick to take offense at a perceived slight.

The analogy to a publishing house ends here: The Fossil Forum is not a publisher. You alone are responsible for the content of your submissions. Any opinions stated are not to be considered those of the administrators/moderators, and by posting any text or image, you are attesting that you have the copyright or permission to do so, and that you agree to the following rules:

Prohibited on The Fossil Forum, including private messages and the chat room (transcripts of which are recorded and monitored) are: Pornography, obscenity, illegal acts and expressing disregard for the law, flaming (personal attacks designed to berate or insult), offensive or discriminatory remarks (racial, ethnic, sexual, theological, political, etc.), threats, defamation, providing links to any of the above, Spamming, posting of the same text again and again, nonsensical posts that have no substance, or bumping a post for the same effect. Violators of the above are subject to action up to and including banishment.

If a post of yours is edited, you will be notified via the private message (PM) system as to why. All discussion of a moderator's action must be confined to the PM system.The moderator's job is to maintain a courteous and respectful environment for all to enjoy, and to do it without prejudice; allowing a statement to stand is not an endorsement of its content. Occasionally, a topic will prove to be so inflammatory as to escalate into a vehement argument, and will be removed. Members can help by calling the moderator's attention to a violation through the "report" function; your help will be appreciated!

The following is our policy on "Member Trades and Sales" (more details can be found in that sub-forum; please read and understand them): First, The Fossil Forum is primarily a non-commercial site. Posts involving sales, trades, or any other commercial activity must be made only on the "Member Trades & Sales" forum (and no where else; not in the Galleries, Public Chatroom, Member Profiles, nor Blogs). The "Member Sales & Trades" forum is for sales and trades between members: no marketing of commercial websites, including eBay. Permission to post on Member Trades & Sales is granted to established members who achieve and maintain a level of participation, in the discussions, with posts of substance. Failure to adhere to this simple requirement may forfeit your membership. Buy, sell, and trade at your own risk: There is no recourse through the Forum for bad deals. It is not the responsibility of The Fossil Forum to mediate transaction disputes; this is solely the responsibility of the parties involved, and must be undertaken privately and off-forum.
Please understand that The Fossil Forum cannot appraise the commercial value of a fossil; this is beyond what can be done through pictures on the internet, so please don't ask.
Now, let's talk fossils!