Read this first if you feel like insulting someone

  Forum Editor 09:15 09 Oct 04
Locked

As most of you will know, we don't tolerate personally abusive comments in our forum. It's OK to disagree - that's the way that discussions or debates work - and even to disagree strongly, but when it comes to making offensive remarks of a personal nature we draw the line.
There's been a slight increase in the number of posts that have crossed that line recently, and I've been receiving a lot of mail from forum members expressing concern that it's indicative of a trend. Let me reassure those people that there's no such trend - any post that contains personally insulting comments aimed at an individual, or a group of people will be deleted, and in most cases a warning will be sent to the culprit. I can't always send warnings - on the odd occasion I'm simply too busy - but I'll try. If the post is particularly offensive, or if the person doing the posting has been warned on a previous occasion I'll disable that person's forum membership without any further warning.

We're talking about a very small number of people here - the vast majority of forum members behave impeccably - but it only takes a few fools to turn the atmosphere sour, and I'm not about to let that happen. We all know what is, or isn't a personally abusive comment, and I'm not going to define it here. Suffice it to say that it's fairly easy to recognise the difference between a robust response in a debate, and a comment that's deliberately calculated to offend. Nobody will be banned without a chance to put their case - I'm always contactable by email ([email protected]), and on many occasions I've lifted a ban when presented with an apology and/or a rationale for the transgression.

Forums like this must have rules, and our rules are based on commonsense. Let's try to maintain an atmosphere in which anyone may feel comfortable.

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