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Personal Attacks/Speaking Your Mind/Abusiveness To Other Members

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Alien Lover
I've noticed lately that people here are getting more...cantankerous. It's resulting in a lot of reported posts, reported PMs, and interactions that catch my eye that I try to stop before they get out of hand.

On the one hand, our site rules (stickied in the New Members section as well as other places) state:

7) CROSSING THE LINE - Members who let disagreements get out of hand, post inflammatory responses (personal attacks), or use foul language will receive a 3-Day ban from the forum. This is a time to cool down, collect your thoughts, and come back and become a valuable contributor to the community. If it happens again, you will receive a permanent ban. It may seem harsh, but rules have to be in place to keep the forum a positive place free of animosity amongst its members.

And more recently an infraction system was implemented:

-Abusive towards other members (1 pt.)-Inappropriate advertising (1 pt.)
-Profanity (2 pts.)
-Antagonism toward moderators (4 pts.)
-Racist/Prejudicial remarks (4 pts.)
-Actual or implied threats (5 pts.)

Cumulative penalties:

10 pts.: Immediate 3-day ban
20 pts.: 1-month ban
30 pts.: Permanent ban
30 pts. (Spamming): Immediate permanent ban


But the site rules also state:

6) DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK YOUR MIND – This forum is made up of a diverse group of people with very different viewpoints. We all disagree at times, but that doesn’t stop us from saying what we believe. If someone says something that you don’t care for, don’t let it get under your skin. Try to keep a cool head and don’t let things bother you too much.
Also, keep an eye out for smilies and sarcasm. It can be easy to misinterpret someone's words online. Occasionally, members like to give one another a good-natured ribbing. Try to keep and open mind and not take it as a personal attack. More often than not, things are said in jest and not in a derogatory manner.


I'd like us to collectively try to strike a balance here of members, new and old, not being afraid to ask a question or bring a subject up for discussion because they are afraid of being attacked.

I'd like us, as a site, to try to voice our differing opinions as just that, without bringing the other person's intelligence or snake husbandry skills or anything else into it.

I'd like us all to be a little more tactful when we don't agree.

I'd also like new members to pay particular attention to this suggestion:

2) SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS – There is a wonderful search function that is extremely useful for finding answers to 99.9% of your questions! We encourage you to search for old threads and the FAQs to get answers. There is an excellent tutorial for learning how to effectively search these forums for information. Find it here: Click Here for the Search Tutorial
If, after you’ve searched, you *still* can’t find answers, feel free to create a new thread in the appropriate sub-forum looking for advice/opinions. The members of this forum are happy to give you any advice they can; that's what we're here for!

I'm sure one thing we can all agree on is that there will never be a general concensus on cohabitation or live feeding. New members- if you choose to go against the grain, please do not be offended when others who have been here long enough to see the damage these two practices _may_ cause speak up and warn you not to do it. Yes, you _will_ be able to scour the forum and find support, but in general, both topics have been beaten to death and nothing has changed. Using the search function, finding previous discussions, and making your own informed decision rather than starting yet another cohabbing, live-feeding thread will go a long way in reducing friction here.

Thank you.
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