Posting: READ THIS FIRST!
Post in the Appropriate Place
Each section has a description alerting you to what does and does not belong there. While Administrators and Moderators do have the ability to move topics between the sections, habitual posting in the wrong sections by any member will only annoy the staff in result in warning pips being given.
Learn to Search
We frown upon what we call "dead horse topics" around here. In short, some topics just have a way of rearing their ugly heads over and over. Please learn to use the Search function (located in the upper right hand corner of the screen); there is a thread with detailed instructions on how to do so pinned at the top of the General Discussion board. Learning to Search will enable us to prevent having multiple threads on one topic, thus helping the board run more smoothly. Continual failure to use the Search feature by any member will result in warning pips. In addition, we do not wish to see disclaimers such as, "I did a search but couldn't find anything like this, so I posted it." Such disclaimers will not help you, nor will they prevent a redundant thread from being closed. In fact, the only purpose such a disclaimer will serve is to annoy the staff.
Attempt to Use Proper English
We aren't English and Grammar teachers, and we understand that some people aren't native speakers of English while others simply aren't good at punctuation. We don't expect perfection, but we do expect an honest effort. If you are not a good speller, type your posts into a word-processing program and spell-check them before posting them. In addition, no netspeak or leetspeak will be tolerated, nor will various "cute" styles of posting such as aLtErNaTiNg CaPs, bolding or italicizing entire posts, or never-ending strings of emoticons. Compliance with this rule will help you avoid the wrath of the Moderators and Administrators and the disdain of our regularly active members. It will also make life a lot easier for our large non-native-English-speaker population.
Post With Intelligence
Idiocy and stupidity are frowned upon here. If you show us that you have more than a solitary brain cell dying of isolation, we'll probably like you. If you act like a brain dead moron, we won't. Be prepared for the consequences of that. In other words, "Don't be stupid. 'kay?"
Mind Your Dates: Old Topics
While we're always happy to see that people go back and read older topics, a word of caution is in order. If a topic hasn't been posted to in a month or more, chances are the discussion has run its course. So, if you're considering posting to one of these topics, make very, very sure that you are adding something new and significant to the thread. The exceptions to the "one month" rule of thumb are few. We do have a few threads that run slowly but have been open for ages. Most notably, these are going to be threads in our Regional sections regarding specific geographic areas and threads in other sections regarding what books our members are reading, work they've submitted for critique, etc. The only way to tell the difference between one of these threads (which are sometimes pinned) and an old topic to be avoided is to familiarize yourself with the way we do things around here, and even long-running threads are not exempt from the "new & significant" requirement for your posts. The other exception to the "one month" rule is the quizzes and such that frequently appear in "The Net" and in "Humour." The expiration date for these usually runs 1-2 weeks. After that, feel free to enjoy the quiz, but please, limit yourself to posting the results or comments to your LiveJournal or website.
Check Your Attitude at the Door
From time to time, we have people who come here and instantly begin complaining that we insist on enforcing the rules. We also often hear members try to evade the rules by claiming a problem with authority, a right to free speech, etc. In an ideal world, a site like GOTH.NET wouldn't attract people who really just want to make trouble. In an ideal world, every new member would read TheRules&tm; and follow them without our staff members having to remind them. This isn't an ideal world. This board is hosted on a privately owned domain. This means the owners, Lilith & Prez, and the people they have entrusted with it, the other Administrators and Moderators, have every right to set rules and prevent you from participating here if we see fit. You do not have the right to spread hate, you do not have the right to bring private matters onto the board, you do not have the right to insult the staff or other members, and you do not have the right to throw hissy-fits and backtalk the staff if they reprimand you. These behaviors won't impress us and, in most cases, will do nothing but earn you an instant warning pip (five of which will ban you from posting). If you don't like these conditions, the solution is simple: direct your browser elsewhere.
No Backseat Moderating
Backseat moderating is any action by a member that serves only to point out another members failure to follow TheRules&tm;. This means the general populace of GOTH.NET should not be seen telling other members not to use netspeak, telling them to get back on topic, telling them they resurrected an old topic, etc. We most definitely do not want to see strings of posts from members telling the offending member to go read TheRules&tm;. One well-meaning, helpful suggestion phrased in a kind and respectful manner is usually tolerable. A string of them is not.
Flaming is not tolerated. While the staff may sometimes get a little rough when dealing with troublemakers or ass-hats, flaming is not tolerated among the members of GOTH.NET. Keep a level head, and help us avoid a brawl reminiscent of grade-school playground fight.
No Attention Whoring or Self-Serving Clap-Trap
If you're whining about how mean your parents, kids in your school, or members of your community are, if you're whining about how you're the only goth in your town or have no scene in your community, if you're whining that people treat you differently when you dress as shockingly as possible, if you're posting pictures of yourself every other day on our Members Photos thread, or if you're playing the "depressed and gother-than-thou" card, you're attention whoring – and being a self-referential, masturbatory, narcissistic half-wit. We don't like it, and we won't tolerate it. Use some common sense, and whine elsewhere. Rule of thumb: If the thread is all about you, we probably don't care, and you're probably breaking this rule.
Stay On Topic
Hi-jacking threads and dragging them off-topic for your own purposes is a form of attention-whoring and will not be tolerated. It is natural for discussions to evolve. It is not natural for them to take 90-degree turns on a dime into a completely unrelated direction just because you feel like it.
Links, Images, Posting, Signature, and Avatar Rules
We do not permit images in signatures, and in posts, we strongly suggest you post a link to any image rather than posting the image itself (this is much more respectful to people with dialup/slow connections). Posting entirely in italics or bold font or posting in non-standard colors or obnoxious blinky fonts is not permitted. We also don't like to see strings of emoticons (we limit them for a reason). Do not direct/hot-link images or avatar images. Be good boys and girls and host the images yourself so you can link to them from your own space. There are a myriad of free hosting sites available, and your friend Google will help you find them. Also, when posting a link or choosing an avatar, be aware that many people access this site from work/school. Pornographic and/or overly offensive avatars should be avoided, and any link that isn't work/school safe should be noted as such in the post.
Also, please resize images that you wish to use as an avatar in a graphics program, don't just squish a 400x600px image by letting the board squash it down to 64x64px because that doesn't help the image download size any and can slow the board down.
New Members and Posting
This is covered in the FAQ, but since it's brought up so often, it's also worth mentioning here. Members cannot post until their application for registration has been approved by an Administrator. Approvals are processed almost daily. Once approved, members fall into the "Newb" category. "Newb" members are permitted to reply to existing topics, and are not allowed to use the signature function. Once a member has submitted 10 posts, he/she becomes a "Member" and is then able to reply to existing threads, create threads and use a signature of their choosing. Increasing your post count by posting inanities to gain the ability to open your own topic will not be tolerated. In addition, hi-jacking a thread to discuss your own topic because you can't create a thread yet will not be tolerated either.
Posting Articles for Discussion
If you are posting an article for discussion, please post a link to that article rather than the text of the article. If the article requires registration to view, posting the text is permitted only if a link to the article is also posted. This ensures we are not in violation of any copyright laws.
Learn the Board Functions
"Search" has already been mentioned, but you should also familiarize yourself with the "Quote," "Edit," and "Report to Moderator" buttons. "Quote" is used to quote someone's post or other material you are referring to in your post. "Edit" is used to edit your own post when you find an error or want to add something after you've submitted a post. "Report to Moderator" is used to report a post to the Administrator/Moderator staff when you feel it's something we need to see and deal with. Do not use the "Report to Moderator" button for minor infractions like netspeak or topic resurrection. The forums here are very heavily patrolled, and minor infractions will be dealt with as soon as they are seen.
This Is NOT a Dating Service
Attempting to pick up "those hot gawth babes" will not be tolerated. If you want to do that, visit a goth personals site. In addition, harassment of members via Private Messaging will dealt with in a most unpleasant manner.
This is not as much a rule as a general notice. Because our staff logs a lot of hours here at GOTH.NET and because we have many members who have been around awhile and have developed a rapport with the staff and other members, inside jokes do crop up. Please understand they are not meant to ostracize any member. If you encounter an inside joke you do not understand, please feel free to ask the person making the joke to explain it. He/she will be more than happy to do so. If you feel an inside joke is becoming offensive, please contact an Administrator or Moderator.
Read the FAQ & Help
The GOTH.NET FAQ and Help Forum will answer a myriad of questions that may not be covered in TheRules&tm;. Read them before you start asking questions.
If you do not understand any of the above information or have any questions about it, please contact an Administrator or Moderator.
On behalf of the Moderator and Administrator team,
Webmistress @ GOTH.NET
The gap that exists between the sarcastic person's wit, and the recipient who doesn't get it.