Over the past year or two, we've had some debates on here that went quite a ways past 'robust' and right over into defamation via obscenities and often outright daftness. We anticipate that that will not change in the years to come, and so we've been noting where the charters didn't fit their intended purpose.
We've also noted far more commercial interest in this forum, as word spreads about how many people read here and how seriously it's taken by the powers that be, who've used it as an information channel from time to time. This could be a very positive thing, or it could swamp here in spam and ads and ruin the place.
We've also had an extensive flirtation with defamation cases, pretty much from the initial days of the forum right up to recently, from several different sources. This has been a site-wide phenomenon and new site-wide rules have been developed as a result. This wasn't down to us, but we have helped to shape those new rules.
And lastly, we're now seeing over the past year or so, more trolling than we'd like to see and a general rise in snappishness levels, possibly as a result of the rise in trolling, possibly because of other obvious factors (ie. the fallout from the recent economic collapse).
Because of all of this, over the past seven months, we've been rewriting and tuning the forum charters. They've been vetted by the Admins, approved by boards.ie ltd and we're now rolling them out across the board. Please take a few minutes to read them:
- the Shooting forum charter
- the Hunting forum charter
- the Target Shooting forum charter
- the Shooting For Sale/Wanted forum charter
Each is laid out as follows:
- There are the general boards.ie site rules, which can pretty much all be inferred from the general statement of "Don't be a dick".
- There are then ten general rules that apply in all the forums:
- Be Civil to one another.
- You are not the internet police.
- Replies should be on-topic.
- No Spamming, no Shilling, no Random Nonsense.
- Anonymity is a social construct.
- There are limits on the discussion of current events and media reportage.
- RKBA is off-topic.
- Illegality is... illegal
- Respect formatting ettiquette.
- If you don't like the modding, follow procedure.
- Each forum then has its own specific rules. There aren't too many of these, and they're things you've all seen before, like the "no politics" rule in Target Shooting. The most extensive ones are in the For Sale/Wanted forum, for obvious reasons.
Another change you'll notice in the coming days are that certain accounts are going to start showing up with red usernames. These are Verified Representatives, a new idea from boards.ie ltd. Basicly, these are people who are verified as representing various bodies, whether they be companies or NGBs. After an initial phasing-in period (say, three to four months), we're going to be requiring anyone posting on behalf of a company, NGB, club or other such body to post using such an account (NGBs and clubs won't have to pay for these given their nonprofit status).
We hope these changes will improve the forum, we've put a lot of thought and cross-checking into them and tried to alter as little as was possible.