The Flat Earth Society

The Flat Earth Society => Announcements => Topic started by: Lord Wilmore on November 07, 2010, 03:07:23 PM

Title: The Forum Rules - Read Before Posting!
Post by: Lord Wilmore on November 07, 2010, 03:07:23 PM
Hello, and welcome to the Flat Earth Society Forum! Here at The Flat Earth Society our goal is to make debate and discussion of all kinds as good as it can possibly be. As such, our Forum Rules are designed to strike a balance between the needs of formal debate, promoting The Flat Earth Society and Flat Earth Theory, and making the forum a fun and enjoyable place. In practice, this means recognising that different parts of the forum need to be moderated in different ways. As such, the Forum Rules are not enforced the same way in every board, and this is something members need to be aware of during their time here.

The purpose of this thread therefore is to outline the Forum Rules, explain where and how they are enforced, and answer some questions you might have about their interpretation and enforcement. All members are strongly encouraged to read this topic fully. We know it's long, but it will help you to get a sense of how the forum works, and what the forum staff consider appropriate behaviour in the various boards. It is your responsability to familiarise yourself with the rules; ignorantia juris non excusat.

For ease of use, the topic is divided into the following five sections:

1) The Forum Rules - A list of the forum's 11 general rules. (

2) Rule Enforcement Guidelines - A rough guide to how the rules are enforced, i.e. warnings/bans. (

3) Forum Guidelines - An outline of the different boards and how the rules are enforced within them. (

4) Update Log - A log of updates and changes made to any of the above. (

Any queries you may have about the rules or their enforcement should be posted in Suggestions & Concerns ( We hope you enjoy your time here at The Flat Earth Society Forum!

- Lord Wilmore


The opinions and beliefs expressed in any posts do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of The Flat Earth Society Forum.
The Flat Earth Society Forum's goal is to promote the free discussion of Flat Earth Theory as well as the free discussion of and debate of any topic of interest to our members that does not contradict Forum Rules.

The views of any individual or organization (including that of the old Flat Earth Society run by Charles K Johnson) are not necessarily shared in whole or in part by The Flat Earth Society. The only person qualified to give the official position of The Flat Earth Society (if required) is Daniel.

In addition, please remember that the views contained in 'official' threads are not necessarily shared by the Forum Staff who post them. Our moderators come from both sides of the debate, and their sole unifying purpose is to promote a smooth running forum so as to promote the emergence and discovery of truth through free discussion and argument.
Title: Re: The Forum Rules - Read Before Posting!
Post by: Lord Wilmore on November 07, 2010, 03:07:37 PM
The site administration has final say over the interpretation and enforcement of these rules. These rules are subject to change without notice.

Any queries about the rules or their enforcement should be posted in the Suggestions & Concerns ( board. Please note that individual boards within the forum often have their own board-specific rules, which must be adhered to in addition to the Forum Rules.

The Forum Rules

1. Racism and Hate Speech
Do not post anything ironically, satirically, humorously, or blatantly racist in nature. Hate speech of any kind is forbidden.

2. Explicit Content
Do not post, link or make available anything explicit, obscene, indecent, lewd, violent, gory, pornographic, illegal, etc. The Flat Earth Society Forum has a PG-13 (USA)/Certificate 15 (U.K.) content policy.

3. Advertisements
Do not create threads/posts, send private messages, or use your profile to advertise products, services, etc.

4. Flaming and Harassment
Do not use insulting or denigrating personal attacks against other members. Harassment or bullying of other members is forbidden.

5. Profanity
Do not use excessive profanity, or create threads with profane titles.

6. Troublemaking
Do not post or behave in a manner obviously intended to start a fight, get a reaction, or cause problems (e.g. making facetious complaints, adjusting/creating a profile so as to impersonate other members, etc.).

7. Low-content Posting/Derailment
Do not make spammy, non-contributive or low-quality posts, or derail threads by deliberately dragging discussion away from the original topic.

8. Abuse of Forum Features
Do not abuse the forum features or systems. This includes the quote function (no excessive quote pyramids), the report system (to be used only for genuine problems/concerns), and posting or messaging in general (no giant posts or private messages).

9. Disputing Moderation and Memberating
Do not attempt to dispute (or interfere with) moderation anywhere other than Suggestions & Concerns ( Any concerns or problems you have with moderation should be taken there. Creating alts to evade moderation falls under this heading. Moderating other members (aka 'memberating') is also forbidden.

10. Disclosing Personal Information
Do not reveal personal information of another member without their explicit permission.  Even if this information is given to you on another medium (Private Messages, Facebook, online chat rooms, etc...) it's against the rules to share it without the aforementioned consent.  Any personal information will be immediately removed.

Finally, please note that the Flat Earth Society Forum reserves the right to remove any and all illegal content, or prevent any and all illegal activity, even if that content/activity is not explicitly forbidden as per the above rules.
Title: Re: The Forum Rules - Read Before Posting!
Post by: Lord Wilmore on November 07, 2010, 03:07:57 PM
Rule Enforcement Guidelines

Different rules exist for different reasons, and breaking some rules can obviously be a more serious matter than breaking others. A bit too much profanity may lead to nothing more than a verbal warning, whereas posting pornographic images can land you a lengthy (possibly permanent) ban. Below is a rough guideline to what kind of action/punishments you can expect if you break the rules. Please note that this is only a guideline, and that the forum staff reserve the right to enforce the rules in whatever manner they deem appropriate. We try to be as fair and consistent as we can, but we cannot legislate for every possible situation. For example, it says below that a warning will be issued for some first offences. However, if the first offence is serious enough, or a consistent string of rule-breaking posts are made within a short time of each other, a ban may be issued straight away. A given offence may be deemed worse in some contexts than others; sometimes an offence which would generally warrant an immediate ban will only result in a warning. The important thing to remember is that ultimately, it's our call to make. However, if you feel we have been unfair in some way, we will listen to you and take your criticism on board, provided you post such criticism in the Suggestions & Concerns ( board in accordance with the rules.

You should also note that how the rules are enforced varies from board to board. For a guideline on how the rules are enforced in the various boards, scroll down to the next post or click here (

1. Racism & Hate Speech

Automatic ban. Casual use of racist or derogatory words will lead to a relatively short ban for the first offence. If the offence is repeated, or it's a more deliberate and offensive use of such language, a ban of anywhere from 1 to 3 months will be given. If it's a clear racist diatribe or 'rant of hate' against any social, ethnic or religious group (i.e. anything that can reasonably be regarded as 'hate speech'), your ban may be anywhere from 3 months to permanent in length (though 6 months would usually be the maximum).

2. Explicit Content

Automatic ban. The ban length will vary depending on what was posted, but will range from 1 month to permanent (though 6 months would usually be the maximum).

3. Advertisements

Dealt with on a case by case basis. If the account appears to exist solely for the purpose of advertising, then a permanent ban will be issued. Otherwise, a warning will be issued for the first offence with a maximum ban of up to two weeks thereafter.

4. Flaming & Harrassment

Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter.

5. Profanity

Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter.

6. Troublemaking

Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter.

7. Low-content Posting/Derailment
Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter.

8. Abuse of Forum Features

Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter.

9. Disputing moderation

Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter. Alt accounts will be permanently banned.

10. Disclosing Personal Information

Warning for the first offence, with a maximum ban of two weeks thereafter.

Repeat Offenders

If a member breaks the rules more than once, the maximum ban for that infraction may be subject to a 'multiplier' effect. This is based on two factors:

1) The length of time between the end of their first ban and commiting the second offence.

2) Whether they have broken the same (or near identical) rule, or a different rule.

The maximum ban length is then multiplied as follows:

Within 2 weeks

Same rule: Multiply by 4
Different rule: Multiply by 3

Within 1 month

Same rule: Multiply by 3
Different rule: Multiply by 2

Within 4 months

Same rule: Multiply by 2
Different rule: Multiply by 1.5

For example, if someone gets a week long ban for flaming, and then comes back and flames someone almost straight away, they can get a ban of anything up to 2 months. The maximum ban for that offence is 2 weeks, and it's within 2 weeks, meaning a x4 multiplier effect for the maximum ban comes into play. 2 by 4 is 8 (obvious, I know), so they may receive a ban up to 8 weeks in length. This applies to all offences with the exception of Racism/Hate Speech and Explicit Content, which have specific guidelines (given above).

In the event of a serious 'invasion' or flood, Martial Law may be declared for a brief period by one or other of the administrators. During such an event, the above conventions may temporarily be ignored.
Title: Re: The Forum Rules - Read Before Posting!
Post by: Lord Wilmore on November 07, 2010, 03:08:08 PM
Forum Guidelines

Below is a list of the boards, explaining what different boards are for and how the Forum Rules are enforced within them. Broadly, the boards can broken down into three categories, and each category is moderated differently:

1. Flat Earth Society & Flat Earth Theory Boards

- Where news and administrative announcements about the website and The Flat Earth Society are posted by the staff.

Suggestions & Concerns
- For any suggestions, problems or questions you may have related to the forum or the society in general. For example: "When are we getting FES t-shirts?!" or "WHY WAS I BANNED GRRRR".

Flat Earth General
- For the discussion of any FE topics unrelated to Flat Earth Theory, e.g. "Hey, I just saw an article about FES on the BBC website! Are you guys for real???". Conspiracy topics also belong here.

Flat Earth Q&A

- For any questions you may have about Flat Earth Theory, e.g. "Why can't I see Russia from Newark?" Debates will be moved to the Flat Earth Debate forum with warnings given to frequent offenders.

Flat Earth Debate
- For detailed debate about specific aspects of Flat Earth Theory, e.g. "How Aether Bends Light" or "FET cannot explain the coriolis effect" etc.

Flat Earth Believers (limited access)
- A board for debate and discussion among Flat Earth Believers. Only those considered deserving of Believer status may post here.

Flat Earth Information Repository

- A place for articles, newsletters, and any other information pertaining to Flat Earth Theory or The Flat Earth Society.

The FEW (limited access)

- For the discussion of Flat Earth Wiki. This forum is visible only to staff and members in the membergroup 'FEW Editor'.

The Flat Earth Society & Flat Earth Theory boards are all related to The Flat Earth Society and Flat Earth Theory in some way, and are usually focused on serious discussion or debate. As such all of the Forum Rules are enforced strictly in these boards, and some even have their own board-specific rules which go beyond the Forum Rules. Infringement of board-specific rules will be treated as equivalent to troublemaking and dealt with accordingly.

2. Casual Discussion Boards

The Lounge
- A place for users to introduce themselves or talk about anything that doesn't fit in the other boards, e.g. "Hilarious video - man falls off kangaroo" or "IRL Drama Topic".

Arts & Entertainment
- For the discussion of any and all forms of art or entertainment, e.g. "This is my favourite/most hated band/game/movie/sport etc".

Technology & Information

- For the discussion of technology and related issues, e.g. "How do I increase my internets?" or "Why Micro$oft are EVIL".

Philosophy, Religion & Society
- For the discussion of philosophy, society, politics, history, religion, and other controversial issues, e.g. "Why is what is?", "I hate Obamacare" or "10 things that don't make sense about Christianity".

Science & Alternative Science
- For the discussion of theoretical, applied, and alternative science, e.g. "Discussion on Relativity" or "I have telekinetic powers - proof inside".

The casual discussion boards are places where members can chat about or discuss things unrelated to Flat Earth Theory. In general the atmosphere of these boards is friendly and light-hearted (e.g. the Lounge), but sometimes may be more akin to that of the 'upper' (Flat Earth Society & Flat Earth Theory) boards (e.g. Philosophy, Religion & Society).

For that reason, moderation in these boards is more relaxed in some respects. The rules on Racism/Hate Speech, Explicit Content, Multiple Accounts, Advertisements and Abuse of Forum Features are still moderated strictly. However, the rules on Flaming and Harrassment, Profanity, Troublemaking, Low-content Posting/Derailment and Disputing Moderation and Memberating will be less strictly enforced. Please note that these rules still apply to some extent! The difference is that minor or occasional infractions will probably be tolerated; serious and/or regular infractions however will result in a warning and/or ban. Basically, common-sense and self-moderation are the order of the day here. If you set out to push the limits we will 'push back', but if you are sensible you should be fine.

3. The Boards of Antichtone

Complete Nonsense
- For the discussion of very silly things, e.g. "I like kawaffle waffle, koo koo kajoo", or "I think that the Earth is Round".

Angry Ranting

The Boards of Antichtone are the least-moderated boards on the forum. The rules on Racism/Hate Speech, Explicit Content, Multiple Accounts and Advertising still apply, but all the other rules are basically not enforced, other than rules that affect the whole site, such as abuse of the report feature or the use of profanity in thread titles. Profanity of any degree is otherwise permitted.

It's possible that at some point someone may go too far without breaking the rules as they are written, and we may have to step in to keep the board fun (e.g. someone mass-spamming loads and loads of topics for days on end). Aside from extreme or unusual cases like that though, most rules will not be enforced in the Boards of Antichtone. This also means these boards are not for the thin-skinned; if someone's giving you a hard-time in there, don't expect the mods to do anything about it. If you can't take it, just don't go in there.
Title: Re: The Forum Rules - Read Before Posting!
Post by: Lord Wilmore on November 07, 2010, 03:12:14 PM
Update Log

July 26th, 2009
-Added a rule on profanity
-Revised definitions

August 1st, 2009
-Added a rules FAQ

September 18th, 2009
-Added a rule on thread derailment
-Added an answer on thread derailment in the FAQ
-Revised definitions

September 20th, 2009
-Added a new paragraph under "Using the fora"
-Added a new section in the FAQ

November 1st, 2009
-Minor adjustments made to reflect forum reshuffle
-Added information concerning "Necroposting"
-Added guidelines on "posting"
-Added guidelines on "personal attacks"

November 2nd, 2009
-Revised rule on ban circumventions

November 12th, 2009
-Fixed an error in the rule regarding thread titles

November 24th, 2009
-Minor addition regarding 'memberating'.

November 28th, 2009
-Racism rule now explicitly expanded to include 'hate speech'.

January 6th, 2010
-Forum Rules shortened and made more concise; guideline expanded accordingly.

July 17th, 2010
-Rule on profanity in thread titles clarified.

July 19th, 2010
-Added a rule on impersonation.

November 7th, 2010
-Revised rules fully to include enforcement guidelines and other changes.

April 25th, 2011
-Minor revision to include PG-13 policy and change some phrasing.

February 13th, 2012
-Revisions to accommodate return of AR.

January 22nd, 2014
-Added "Disclosure of Personal Information" to the rules.

July 27th, 2020
- Merged former rule 3 into former rule 10, now both under rule 9