Over the past few months, the discourse and general postings have gone down hill. I've had too many reports of flamewars and posting of inappropriate content. I've tried managing things with a light touch and relied on people here to police themselves, but it seems like that's not possible anymore.
To that end, I've put in place two moderators-- Will and Liam. They've been here way back before the community was on Ning and was one some bulletin board software. They understand my original intention for the community and have actually been very helpful in helping me moderate in an unofficial capacity.
As moderators, they have the ability to delete content, close or delete threads, and suspend members. They've been instructed to give people who violate the community rules a warning and if they fail to comply, then they will be suspended.
Because it seems like no one has really been following the community rules as of late, here's a refresher:
1. Always be a gentleman. At AoM, we encourage gentlemanly behavior offline and online. In your interactions here on the community, let this be your guiding principle and you'll have a great experience here. Of course, most people don't do well with just guiding principles, but need actual rules. So here's some specific stuff that you must follow while using AoM.
2. No personal attacks. We will not tolerate comments that attack a person's race, sex, religion (or lack of it), sexuality, national origins, and disabilities. You might disagree with a man's politics, beliefs, or sexual orientation, and you're free to discuss and debate those sorts of things. But don't attack a man personally or use derogatory/hateful language. First time offenders will get a warning. Second time offenders will have their account deleted. Please report any incidents of personal attacks.
3. No pornography or excessively crude language. Again, in keeping with the spirit of the community of being a gentleman's discussion board, we do not tolerate pornography (or nudity for that matter- there are kids who check this place out), pictures of gore or excessive violence or excessively crude language. Basically, don't write or put anything on here that you wouldn't see on network television in the U.S. First time offenders will get a warning. Second time offenders will have their account deleted. (No fuck, shit, cunt, etc, etc).
Please report any incidents of porn, inappropriate pictures or crude language so I can take care of it.
4. No political or religious discussions in the main forum. The main forum is primarily for men to get together and discuss and help each other be better men. To help keep that the focus, we have a rule that no religious or political discussions are allowed in the main forums. If you start a political/religious discussion, I'll shut it down. And yeah, I get to decide what is a religious/political discussion. That's one of the benefits of being in charge.
You're free to start political/religious conversations on the site. There are lots of groups on the AoM community that are dedicated to discussing topics not related to helping men become better men. For the controversial topics, there's a group called the Great Debate (It was originally called Biblical Paradigm, but it's morphed into a general discussion group, so don't let the URL throw you off. Non-religious folks are welcome!) that hosts debates about politics, religious, morality, and current events. Again, the same rules apply there. Be a gentleman.
5. No SPAM. SPAM is for eating, not for the web. I will delete your account immediately if I get an inkling that you're just here to SPAM.
6. Don't post under your real name if you don't want your name indexed on Google and other search engines. This is a public forum. Everything that is on here can seen by the entire world and is indexed by Google. If you're concerned about privacy or your name coming up in search results, don't use your real name as your username.
People freak out about this when they do a Google Search on their name and they see stuff come up on from AoM under their name. They then come to us begging that I remove all info about them from the site and even delete comments by OTHER users that referenced to their real name. I used to do oblige, but it's time consuming and I have better things to do than to fix other people's careless mistakes. So FYI, I will not help scrub your profile of your personal info because you made the mistake of publishing it on a public forum.
7. NO SOLICITATION. Don't sale your stuff on here. This isn't a free classifieds page.
And yeah. I get to decide when someone has violated these rules. And please don't whine about freedom of speech when I delete your comment or ban you. AoM's not the U.S. government, so we can censor to our heart's content (not that we will). I'm a tyrant around here, but a benevolent one. I pay for the monthly fee to keep this thing up, so I can do what I want with it. I want to make sure everyone has a good time while on AoM and gets something out of the discussion. So I'll do what it takes to keep things running smoothly. We welcome and encourage dissenting opinions, we just ask that you do it civilly. If you don't like my calls, you're free to go to another forum. I'm sure you can find one to your liking.
Those are pretty much the rules that have guided the Community thus far. For the most part people here self-moderate and keep things civil and on track. For that, I thank you.
Me and my managing editor Jeremy will be in here more often for the foreseeable future. If we see activity that goes against the rules, we will deal with it swiftly.