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Community Rules
Tech Support Forum Rules & Conduct.

FREE SPEECH

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. Tech Support Forum (TSF) is a privately owned forum, funded with private funds, legal advertising and donations from users 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.

ADMINISTRATORS
While our rules cover the majority of incidents that may occur, we cannot anticipate all circumstances, and as such, the Administrators of Tech Support Forum (TSF) 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. Forum Managers 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 appointed staff members 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.


TSF RULES - QUICK REFERENCE

  • You may not have multiple identities
  • You may not use swear words or any alternative spelling for swear words in a post. This includes using undesirable
    • words
    • phrases
    • user names
    • locations
    • place names
    • or anything visible in your user profile
  • You may not make racist, violent, sexual or other inflammatory remarks in a post
  • You may not ask for assistance with P2P programs
  • Images containing depictions of pornography, racism, violence or those of an adult nature are forbidden
  • You may not ask for assistance with homework assignments, projects or book reports for school college or university
  • You may not ask for assistance via PM unless you have not received a reply to your query within 72 hours.
  • You may not offer assistance via PM under any circumstances.
  • You may not ask for assistance to circumvent restrictions or security on any computer system or network.
  • You may not ask for assistance with any deemed illegal activities such as but NOT restricted to the following::
    • software pirating
    • hacking
    • password cracking
    • keystroke recording software
    • assistance with accessing copyrighted software programs
    • Leeching on private or public WiFi/Broadband connections
  • You may not post material from TSF at another forum without permission from TSF's Admin or from the copyright owners
  • You may not post any material at TSF from another forum without the express permission of that forum's Admin
  • You may not misuse VB or HTML code
  • You may not carry out personal attacks, be rude or insulting to any member of TSF. This includes in emails and PM's.
  • You may not post intentionally harmful advice to any user in TSF.
  • You may not troll in any thread
  • You may not flame in any thread
  • You may not advertise or spam in any thread
  • You may not threaten or abuse any member of TSF
  • You may not place images or links in your signature unless you are in an appropriate group where this is allowed
THE FOLLOWING WILL RESULT IN AN IMMEDIATE BAN
  • Displaying pornographic, violent, sexist or racist images in any thread.
  • Starting a discussion thread or promoting pornography, violence, sexism or racism in any form.
  • Spamming
  • Trolling
  • Threatening other members or staff in the forum
Should you require a more concise clarification of the forum rules, please read the following paragraphs headed in blue. If you are unsure of anything please feel free to PM an Administrator, Manager, Assistant Manager or Moderator

GENERAL

This is a family forum and as such you will notice some of the text in your posts being blanked out by asterisks (*) from time to time. This is as a result of an "auto censor" which censors certain words. Censoring of undesirable words is also carried out by Moderators or other Staff members, but you will see an "edited by" note at the foot of your post, with a reason for the edit, in this case. PLEASE NOTE that using "alternative" spelling for swear words or using undesirable words, phrases, user names, locations, place names or in fact anything visible in a user profile, is strictly forbidden and will result in action being taken by Staff. The Management of this forum further reserve the right to decide what they deem as inappropriate content in order to preserve a family environment.

P2P
We believe that the main purpose of P2P programs is to illegally download and use copyrighted material of whatever description. We further understand that there may be legal uses for P2P, but as we are not able to assess a user's intent when he/ she asks for help, we do not support P2P software and we will not assist any user in this regard. This includes but is not limited to Bearshare, Kazaa and many others.

EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE
While we are happy to promote the education of users, we feel it is inappropriate to circumvent the learning process by directly assisting with assignments and projects of an educational nature. Direct answers to school or college assignments are not allowed and will not be given. However, if a user is having trouble comprehending a certain topic, the members and staff at TSF will be happy to provide assistance with understanding the topic.

ASSISTANCE VIA PM
This practice is prohibited in TSF. The very reason that there are Support Forums is to assist ALL members with a variety of problems. Displayed posts are very useful and can save a staff members having to repeat solutions that have been dealt with previously. i.e. members are able to help themselves. Looking for help via PM not only prevents this but it is also annoying and harasses staff.

NETWORK RESTRICTIONS
We will not assist any user who, in our opinion, is clearly trying to circumvent his company network protocols or restrictions put on his system by a Network Administrator. Again we have no ability to assess the user's intent.

ASSISTANCE WITH ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

We will not provide any user with information about the location of websites that assist with the following activities
  • software pirating
  • hacking
  • password cracking
  • keystroke recording software
We will also not offer advice, assistance or instruction with regard to any of the above activities, illegal or otherwise.

APPLICABILITY OF RULES
All staff members and registered members are subject to the rules and conduct guidelines for TSF and actions taken for contraventions of the rules will be equally meted out for staff and members alike. PLEASE NOTE the rules are in force within and outside of TSF, whether association with TSF is implied or explicit. NO member, whether Staff or otherwise, may bring the name of TSF into disrepute by his/her actions or by associating TSF with illegal activities. Contraventions of this nature will result in immediate dismissal from the forum.

COPYRIGHT
All content, unless otherwise protected, is the property of TSF and may not be disseminated, copied, transmitted, reproduced, or otherwise used except at the discretion of TSF, its administrators, or its assigned proxies. Any Staff members wishing to use such material outside of TSF may NOT do so without the written permission of the Administrators or the assigned proxies of TSF. Any material from another forum that is posted in TSF for the purpose of assisting users or as tutorials, may not be posted unless the Administrators of TSF are satisfied that the forum in question has given written permission for such material to be used.

MULTIPLE POSTING
This refers to posting the same question or same replies in multiple areas of the site (also called flooding). Please only post only once. If you feel you have posted in the wrong forum, contact a Moderator or Manager, who will move the post for you. This also includes the creation of multiple new threads on the same or similar topics and sending PM's continuously to one or more Staff members.

MISUSE OF VB or HTML CODE
Overuse or misuse of HTML or VB codes could be seen as an offense at a Moderator's discretion. This includes, but is not restricted to particularly annoying large, flashing, or otherwise unnecessary overuse of such special features.

INAPPROPRIATE LANGUAGE
Tech Support Forum (TSF) is a family orientated site. We do not allow "adult" language. We have a forum where users may vent their anger but this does still not cater for bad or inappropriate language usage.

CRUDE OR RUDE BEHAVIOR
While debate and discussion is acceptable; personal attacks, rudeness to, or posts insulting other users or TSF staff members will not be tolerated. This does not only apply to the public areas of TSF, but also to the content of private messages, email, chat or any other messaging methods utilized by TSF or its members. Responding to personal attacks with further abuse is inflammatory and unnecessary and will also result in disciplinary action against you, in addition to any action against the perpetrators of such attacks.

INTENTIONALLY HARMFUL ADVICE
This is a place where people come to seek assistance from experienced and trusted helpers. You may not intentionally post harmful advice to users. This includes replying when you clearly have no technical experience or by replying to users with facetious comments such as telling a user to type "FDISK" in order to visit a website.

THREATS OR HARASSMENT
This includes threats of bodily harm or other violent statements as well as any type of personal harassment from a user, whether by email, in PM, on the forum or, by means of any other messaging methods utilized by TSF or its members.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
Users may not post hacks, cracks, or give instruction how to pirate any type of software, or anything similar, in any forum of TSF. We do not condone, support or give instruction on any illegal activity pertaining to computer systems, computer hardware, computer software programs or computer related activities. Included in this group of activities are requests for help to circumvent system admin passwords or Administrator settings on networks. We do understand that the majority of requests may be legitimate, but we do not have the means to discern these from non-legitimate requests.

TROLLING
If you are found causing trouble on the forums or generally harassing users, you will be considered a troll. The definitions of this type of behavior are many and are by no means exhaustive. You can, however, get a very good description by visiting this site to see this author's point of view on the definition of a Troll.
Trolling by TSF's definition could be any of, but is not restricted to the following:
  • Flooding the board with comments arising from a single point of view in every reply.
  • Intentionally posting something that contravenes our forum rules.
  • Deliberately posting comments designed to start a "flame war" or to cause difficulty for the moderators.
  • Posting continuous snide or personal comments about other users.
  • Posting continuous or unwarranted criticism of Mods and their moderating decisions.
  • Behavior which is continually disruptive to the general membership of the forum.

FLAMING
Flaming is expressly forbidden in TSF. It serves no other purpose but to show disrespect to other users and to the forum environment. If you don't agree with what someone has posted, that is your right - that is what a discussion forum is all about. DO NOT, however, turn the thread into your personal soapbox and let situations spiral into a "bar room brawl". The cardinal rule is "attack the post , not the poster". Always treat people with the same level of respect which you yourself would expect in return.

SPAMMING
The definitions of spamming are endless but the most common appears to be "to indiscriminately send unsolicited, unwanted, irrelevant, or inappropriate messages, especially commercial advertising in mass quantities". TSF provides a free service to users who need assistance and as such it is forbidden to advertise products, services, or web sites in order to derive personal benefit, either directly or indirectly. We have an advertising forum where selected advertisements may be placed. You may also NOT place affiliate, live or dead links for purposes of advertising or for any other purpose in any post or in your signature. You may only post a link in a post, if you are assisting a user. NOTE: Citing free support at your own or another forum is not a mitigation for having a live or dead link to such a forum in your signature.

ADULT CONTENT
You may not post replies containing commentary, links to, or images of pornography, race-hate or other illegal material on the Internet, in any forum of TSF. Please note that TSF is a family forum and as such you may also not post adult content of an educational nature. Remember our younger members do not need to be subjected to this type of material even if it is educational. The aforementioned adult content includes images which are, or may be deemed to be inappropriate i.e. images which depict scenes of a sexual nature (educational or otherwise), images which may be real or contrived or that promote or reflect violence or racism. Admin reserves the right to declare any image inappropriate and may remove the offending image as well as ban the poster, should it be necessary. If you are not sure about a post, please PM a staff member for advice.

MULTIPLE USER IDENTITIES

You may not register an account for purposes of deceptive behavior or register more than one account in this forum. If you are found doing so, it will be assumed that you have done so for less than savory reasons. There is no need to have more than one account and should you have problems logging in, send a PM, as a guest, to an Administrator, by clicking on the user name, with details of your problem.

RULE CATEGORIES

The following rules are guidelines for all users of Tech Support Forum (TSF) and also stipulate how one should participate. The Administrators of TSF reserve the right to alter, remove or add any guideline or rule at their sole discretion. If you have any questions about the rules or guidelines, please Contact Us or a staff member for clarification. Pleading ignorance of our rules, if you transgress, will not be a suitable excuse in mitigation of your actions.

The rules below are categorized for convenience sake but any staff member, at their discretion, can verbally or officially warn someone. If you are officially warned you will receive a PM about the warning and a warning type.

We have indicated the warning types, categories and warning points and validity period for points awarded. When you reach 10 points you will receive a temporary ban. When you have received three temporary bans' you will unfortunately be permanently banned

CATEGORY 1 (WARN POINTS= 1, VALIDITY PERIOD 30 DAYS)

  • Multiple Posting
  • Misuse of VB or HTML code
CATEGORY 2 (WARN POINTS= 3, VALIDITY PERIOD 30 DAYS)
  • Inappropriate language
  • Crude or rude behavior
  • Intentionally harmful advice
CATEGORY 3 (WARN POINTS= 5, VALIDITY PERIOD 60 DAYS)
  • Flaming or harassment
  • Illegal activities
  • Multiple user identities
CATEGORY 4 (PERMANENT BAN - NO WARNING)
  • Trolling
  • Threats
  • Spamming
  • Displaying images of, or promoting pornography, violence, sexism or racism

NOTE FROM THE ADMINISTRATORS

Unfortunately having rules is something we all live by everyday and the rules in TSF are no different. A forum the size of ours needs structure and one way of ensuring that is to make sure everyone knows how to act when using our site. We trust that you will enjoy your time in Tech Support Forum (TSF) and look forward to our continued association with you.


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