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The Lifestream Forums Rules

Although the administrators and moderators of The Lifestream Forums will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of The Lifestream Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.

By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.

The owners of The Lifestream Forums reserve the right to remove, edit, move or close any thread for any reason.

Thanks to the input and suggestions from the mods and members alike, here are the amended and expanded rules of the forum that will be enacted and enforced.

* Be civil to other members

Refrain from insulting, discriminating, trolling etc. other members on this forum. 'Be civil' sums it up pretty well, and shouldn't be too difficult.

* Don't spam

We consider ourselves pretty lenient on spam, and it's okay for a few posts in a thread to be off-topic. As long as the topic doesn't stray from its original topic too much after that. When a thread goes off-topic too much, a moderator will - if possible - post a warning or two at his discretion and choice of leniency. If the topic doesn't go back on topic after that, continued off-topic posters will receive warnings, and the topic could also be shut down.

* Don't blatantly post spoilers

There are a number of people on this forum that haven't seen, for example, Advent Children Complete yet, so if you post about a certain important plot point, mark it as such by using the [spoiler] BBCode tag. Spoilers in posts, profiles, avatars, signatures and elsewhere will be removed. This rule also applies to non-FF games, series, movies, etcetera. If you want to start a topic about a new movie, make sure to make a note in the first post about whether the topic contains / should contain spoilers or not. Also, refrain from using spoilers in topic titles altogether. In general, a rule-of-thumb is that if you're going to post a critical plot point about any topic in a topic that is not marked as containing spoilers (in the topic's title or the first post), you have to use the spoiler tag. Not marking a spoiler is irritating, inconsiderate and a warnable offense.

* What Happens at X, Stays at X

If you have or have had conflicts with members on other forums, places, IRL, etc., do not bring those conflicts over here. This forum is not your battlefield.

* Duplicate accounts

We do not forbid the use of duplicate accounts (i.e. you having several accounts) per se, however, we do want you to follow a few rules when it comes to this:

* You're not allowed to use more than one account at the same time. This is to prevent people 'talking to themselves', i.e. posting in approval of a duplicate account's posts or similar such activities. No sockpuppets. Any instance of this will result in a suspension. Furthermore, if you use a duplicate account, you must fill in the AKA field with your other username so that your identity is known to other posters.

* You're not allowed to use a duplicate account if your original account was banned. Your new account will be banned instantly, and your original account's ban duration - if any - will be increased, if it concerns a suspension and not a permanent ban.

* Abuse with your duplicate account will result in your original account getting warned and - if applicable - suspended or banned as well.

* Plagiarism

Plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated and will result in a suspension of at least a week, at the discretion of the moderator. Claiming artistic works, writing, posts, contributions, etc., as your own that are not your own will not be tolerated. Honesty and respect is expected from the userbase here.

* Pornography

Any posting of pornographic images without spoiler tags explicitly warning that they contain non-work-safe content will result in a suspension or outright ban, depending on the severity and quantity of the posting. Furthermore, any forum user soliciting sexual acts, sending obscene images or requesting said images from underage users will be permanently banned.

To use spoiler tags to warn for non-work-safe content:


Which will produce (NSFW) images

* Stalking/Harassment/Other Offensive Behavior

Forum users are not to harass/spam other members via PM, or posts on the forum. If a forum member has expressed to you to not PM them, or address them on the forum, aside from regarding the discussion topics at hand, respect their wishes and leave them alone. If you are reported as a user who has stalked a member and has signed up for the sole purpose of antagonizing and harassing said member, and if staff comes to the agreement, you will be banned. Users, also please be aware of the ignore function regarding PMs and use them as you see fit.

* Signature, avatar, and image sizes

Do not post oversized images in posts without first putting them behind a spoiler tag. Any image that ends up stretching/distorting the site, or causing an unnecessarily long load time for the page, will be put behind a cut by a moderator and you will be told to keep such images behind spoiler tags in the future. If you do not, you will have your posts deleted, and you will be warned. It is not the moderator's responsibility to tag and fix your posts. It is your own.

Signatures and avatars that are too large will be deleted.

* Backseat Moderating

Please do not try to dictate and control another forum member's behavior beyond asking said member to stay on topic or post/debate/discuss/argue the points at hand. If you feel a member is acting out of line, please report the post (by using this icon: [img][/img]) or PM a moderator to handle the situation.

* Modified rules for FFVII love triangle debates

Due to a long history of rule-breaking in love triangle debate topics which attracted the ire of staff and members alike, stricter standards have been adopted for posts concerning Final Fantasy VII's love triangle debate. As a result, the following rules apply:
  • If a post concerns the relationships (romantic or otherwise) between Tifa and Cloud, Aerith and Cloud, or all three, then it is a love triangle debate post, irrespective of whether the topic it is made in is a designated love triangle debate. The stricter rules of the love triangle debate, which are outlined in the first several posts here, apply to all posts of such nature. Anything confrontational will be dealt with as needed, posters' past opinions will not be considered pertinent to the topic, and anything that does not concern the love triangle in such topics will be considered spam and dealt with as staff members see fit. These rules may also be extended to other topics that have frequently been associated with love triangle discussions, such as whether Aerith loved Zack more than Cloud.
  • If a post concerns anything else, including the way love triangle discussions are moderated, then it is not a love triangle debate post and will be moderated using the same rules as the rest of the board. Outright flames still aren't allowed, but snark will be tolerated and references to past discussions will most likely be considered acceptable as long as they do not violate any other rules.

* Name changes

The Lifestream allows members almost unlimited name changes, but as a requirement of doing so, anyone who receives name changes must be easily identifiable to the member base. We have an aka field, and anyone who wants a name change must have it filled out at all times in a way that would make him or her easily and unambiguously identifiable to an average member. Using this field is a requirement of receiving name changes. If at any time after receiving a change to a name that is not your most widely known handle on this message board you remove your aka field or fill it with misleading information, staff members will, at their discretion, change your username back to what they feel is your most widely recognised handle and restrict you from receiving future name changes until they see fit; staff members may also refuse to change your name if your aka field is not already filled out.

* Punishment

Failure to follow the above rules will be considered a breach of the terms of service of this forum, and (with the exception of the name change rules, whose methods of enforcement are explained above) will result in:

* Warnings
* Suspensions
* Banning

For minor or first-time minor offenses you will receive an unofficial, verbal warning from one of the moderators. For repeated or larger offenses, you will receive an official warning, which will tally up points on your user account. When these points reach a certain point, we will resort to the next stage: suspension or banning.

A suspension involves locking your user account out of the forum for a set period of time, anywhere between a few hours to a few months depending on the situation and the staff's judgment. A ban is similar to a suspension, but permanent.

If you are caught creating a duplicate account whilst under a suspension or a ban, that account will also be banned and, if you have a suspension, that suspension will be extended.

You are free to request a suspension or ban from the staff if you have a valid reason (such as exams), however, do add a proper reason and preferred time to it - arbitrary requests for a suspension without reasoning or duration will default to a one-month minimum suspension, with the duplicate account rules in place.

A moderator is free to suspend you for a few hours up to a few days if you're repeatedly misbehaving in a short amount of time. This is to force you to 'cool off', take a time-out - we know that people can get heated over certain issues, causing them to repeat an offense in quick succession. The time-out should give some time for the mood to cool off again.

Be aware that a history of disruptive behavior may also be taken into account by staff when addressing more recent developments -- even if you have no recent warnings or active infractions. To clarify: memory of disruptive behavior doesn't expire the way site infractions do. This isn't baseball, where you've got three new strikes for every at-bat.

For instance, if you're flaming people in political discussions every three or four months, then you're demonstrating that you haven't learned anything from previous disciplinary action, and are essentially asking to be banned.

Be aware also that if most of your activity in a particular section of the site amounts to disruptive behavior, even if spaced out over time, and you show no signs of curbing this after being spoken with by staff, you may well be banned from that section -- if not the forum as a whole. Staff also have the power to ban users from specific threads, and will make use of it as necessary.

* Private messages

We will respect your privacy when it comes to these messages, but when we suspect or get a report for abuse of the PM system - unsolicited spam, harassment, whatever - we reserve the right (and have the ability) to read and search through your PM's. This will only occur when there's a reasonable suspicion for abuse though.

In regards to the nomenclature of the rules, here are the definitions we adhere to.

*Trolling - Methods of trolling can be rather complicated, which is why it can be sometimes difficult to spot. However, trolling is posting with the goal of manipulating a desired reaction out of someone or a community. Typically, the goal is just to piss someone off and cause needless drama and annoyance.

In other words, a troll is someone who is rude, offensive, or annoying just to be a pain in the ass.

*Flaming - Insulting and personal attacks meant to offend and malign the victim, i.e. acting like a dick. Ad hominem attacks can sometimes fall under this category depending on the context.

*Spamming - Posting without contributing anything intelligent or relevant to the discussion at hand, or just posting to be annoying. Table-breaking, long strings of nonsense, and gratuitous use of enormous, multiple, or offensive images are examples. Obnoxiously long repetitions of characters and soliciting also falls into this category.

*Pornography- Any image that shows the exposed chest and/or genitals of a woman, the exposed genitals of a man, or any two nude people (or people and animals if you're a sick fuck) engaging in a oral/anal/vaginal sex, will be considered pornography.
The latest version of the rules can always be found here.

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