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the "getting banned from the forum" issue

 
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:02 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Munich, Germany
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Default the "getting banned from the forum" issue

Jon Tschiggfrie asked in another thread: "Did I miss something? Why do people think they're going to get banned from .org?" (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/save...post32655.html)

I didn't want to get off-topic there, so I start a new thread here to clarify the issue of "getting banned from steamboats.org message board" again, for now and for ever:

a) The steamboats.org has rules - whether anyone likes these rules or not, this is a privately run forum hence everyone who wants to join in has to respect these rules. Just read them and make your own judgement whether they sound fair: Message Boards - Help (scroll down to the bottom for the rules)

b) This message board is being hosted on a German web server, hence I have to obey German law - which of course contains freedom of speech as much as it does in the US. But it also makes the operator of a message board somewhat personally responsible for the content. Meaning: I'm personal responsible for illegal action on the forum. This includes things that are illegal in Germany as much as they are illegal in the US, especially personal attacks and insults as well as liability for harm to businesses (due to incorrect facts and others), injury to reputation, copyrights; just to name a few.

c) I don't have the time to discuss questionable behaviour in front of a grand jury. What counts is that I have the impression that the rules are being violated and I'll also take in account the feelings of other message board members. If someone feels like being attacked between the lines I'll take this serious.

d) To get banned (which by the way happend just twice in the more than ten years history of the steamboats.org message board) you need to consistently violate the rules and not change your behaviour even after several personal warnings by e-mail from the moderators. Usually, our first and only action on postings that violate the rules or the law is to delte a posting (or parts of it) and forget about it. And even this happens very rarely, maybe twice a year or so ...

Nobody will get banned for saying the truth, as long as this happens in a fair, non-offensive, polite way and - very important to avoid running into legal action - it must be the truth and not just what someone assumes being the truth. Hence, other than on Facebook and other places on the Internet where you can defame and ruin other people or companies by pure allegations or rumors, there is a need to provide evidence of your findings - the worse the incrimination and the more serious the consequences are, the stronger such evidence has to be.

I just remind you that steamboats.org is being run non-profit, in our free time to provide a permanent place for steamboat fans to share knowledge and keep in contact. It's not a political fight platform and we definitely are not willing to take the risk of any kind of legal action against the website for we simply won't be able to cover the cost for such an action and would have to close down the website immediately in such a case.

Therefore we're probably sometimes a bit over-sensitive and for sure very precautions. Please just remember that next time when you consider attacking us for "censorship" or "banning" or "preventing the truth from being published".

One more thing - and yes, with this I stretch the official rules a bit: I'll never accept discussions getting personal when it should be about the facts and probbly opinions. Just because someone has his/her own opinion about something doesn't give anyone the right to personal attack him/her. Even if someone thinks someone else is blantly wrong there is no reason what so ever to change the attitude from factual to personal. We need to respect each others, even if we don't share the same opinion. As moderator of the message board I will always make sure that this kind of respect will be maintained here.

I hope this clarifies this issue now and for ever so I don't have to repeat myself again and again and in every single case all over again. It's boring, it's vasting my time and it's pointless anyway.

Franz
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