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Board Rules, The Short Version

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LancTalk Discussion Forum Rules, Simple Version

1. In compliance with the Federal COPPA Act, you must be 13 years of age or older to participate on this board. Those under the age of 18 should seek parental/guardian consent to participate on LancTalk. If it becomes known that a juvenile is participating in this forum, LancTalk reserves the right to disable the account until parental/guardian consent is obtained. LancTalk WILL honor a parent or guardian's request to remove any juvenile poster upon notification or request.

2. LancTalk is not a part of or affiliated with any government or municipal entity or with any news agency or media outlet. We are a private forum operator, and as such, the Constitution does NOT apply here. "Freedom of speech" on this site is what we say it is, period. That said, our goal is to foster and encourage open discussion and debate to the degree that it doesn't violate any of our rules, either in letter or in spirit.
3. This is a moderated discussion forum with rules. We have a team of volunteer moderators who may edit/delete posts and take action against disruptors without any notification or notice. Members are strongly urged to familiarize themselves with our rules, and make an effort to become a positive member of our community. .

4. Who We Are: LancTalk is a free community website and forum for those who live, or have lived, in Lancaster County, PA. The site is founded and operated by community member volunteers, and seeks to provide a venue for a wide variety of discussions on many topics related to our area, as well as the rest of the world.

5. Civility: Treat other members with respect. Do not post personal attacks against other members of this discussion forum for ANY reason. Attack the post, not the poster. A personal attack is normally what the person who the attack is posted against feels is an attack on them. We reserve the right to allow some perceived attacks to continue if staff members feel that the member who was attacked is equally participating in the attack. Many members are capable of defending themselves; however, if staff members feel that the attack is disrupting the community or that the victim member is defenseless, ganged up on, or if the attacks are completely inappropriate, staff members will remove the post(s), close the thread, and/or take disciplinary action as deemed appropriate.

6. Language: LancTalk is designed for users over the age of 13, and we generally don't want to filter or police a little light swearing, as long as it is in the right context and not completely vulgar. If you had a really shitty day, you can say so. If you think someone is a shit head, keep it to yourself. We reserve the right to delete or edit posts that contain vulgar language. We let a lot slide, but don't get carried away.

7. Content:
a) Do not post messages that are inflammatory, extreme, divisive, incoherent, or otherwise inappropriate. Do not engage in anti-social, disruptive, or trolling behavior. Do not post broad-brush, bigoted statements. The moderators and administrators work very hard to enforce some minimal standards regarding what content is appropriate. But please remember that this is a large and diverse community that includes a broad range of opinion. People who are easily offended, or who are not accustomed to having their opinions (including deeply personal convictions) challenged may not feel entirely comfortable here. A thick skin is necessary to participate on this or any other discussion forum.

b ) Starting a thread; or public or private conversation: Starting a thread for the sole intention of harassing, annoying, baiting, stalking, attacking, or humiliating another member is grounds for immediate disciplinary action.

c) Personal Messages (PM) are designed to provide members with private conversations with other members. LancTalk staff do not have access to PMs and cannot review them. However, if you PM another member and the PM is utilized to violate the board rules or other behaviors, then any member participating in the PM discussion can use the "Report" function to report a specific post within that PM. If this occurs and you are the person reporting the behavior, LancTalk staff may request to be a part of that conversation, at which point you will need to "invite" a staff member to participate in the conversation. This will allow staff members to evaluate the entire conversation and take whatever action we deem necessary. Any member participating in a PM MAY NOT publish the content of a PM in the forum for all to see without the permission of the other member. Such permission must be brought to the attention of a staff member so that the post is not deleted. When staff see a publicly disclosed PM it will be immediately deleted without notice to you or anyone else. We reserve the right to delete any publicly posted PM whether the other member's permission is granted or not.

d) Reported Content - when a reader sees a post that he or she feels is a violation of board rules, is potentially criminal in nature, harassing, threatening or any other disruption to the overall climate of a thread, then a reader can use the "Report" button to report the content to LancTalk staff members. The content (and the thread) is evaluated by all staff members to determine if a violation occurred and what disciplinary should be taken. Staff DOES NOT disclose the results of the investigation to the reporting person or any other member outside of the Staff. We also do not disclose disciplinary actions. If you do not receive confirmation of your post and you would like to know the status of the report, then please feel free to PM a staff member; but the results will not be disclosed.

8. Copyrights: Do not copy-and-paste entire articles onto this discussion forum. When referencing copyrighted work, post a short excerpt (try not to exceed 4 paragraphs) with a link back to the original. LancTalk.com makes a good faith effort to abide by all copyrights; we reserve the right to delete any copyrighted material, and every owner of copyrighted material may request that the material be removed. Requests for the removal of copyrighted material will be reviewed on a case by case basis, but generally requests for removal from holders of a copyright will be honored. Note to copyright holders: Use "Contact" to notify LancTalk of any possible copyright violations. Please provide an email so that we may contact with you as necessary.

9. Links: Posting links that are off-topic, or that lead to other competing forums, product advertisements, affiliate sites, subscription-based services, illegal or illicit activities, pornography of any kind, sites that are virus infected, hate sites, hacking or phishing sites, financial scams or other frauds are strictly prohibited, whether posted in a forum, your signature, your profile or sent to another member by PM. Additionally, LancTalk.com and it's affiliates assume no responsibility for the content and/or safety of the links posted by other members. By accessing the links provided by other members, you do so at your own risk. Should you access a questionable link please let an Administrator know immediately.

10. Forum Administration: Respect the moderators and administrators, and respect their decisions. You can help make their job easier by clicking the "Report" link on any post that might need moderator attention. Please understand that moderating errors and inconsistencies are inevitable on any forum. If you have a question about LT policies, or if you have a concern about an action a moderator has taken, please contact an admin privately. Also note that continual or excessive reporting or complaining to staff about things that "bother you", but are not actual violations of our rules, is a violation of our rules. Moderators also participate in board discussions. However, when a complaint or dispute occurs between members, the moderators will objectively evaluate each issue and often seek the input of other moderators. For the most part, moderators will not take disciplinary action if they are participating in the violating thread, but that will not be the case in every situation. So cases require immediate attention. We will do our best to evaluate each complaint fairly with the hope that the complaint can be resolved. If you are not satisfied with a staff member you may consult with another staff member. As stated previously, we will not disclose the results of the disciplinary actions to you. We do not publicly disclose disciplinary actions.

11. Stay informed: An educated member is a happy member. For a detailed explanation of how we enforce these rules please go to the "About LancTalk" Forum. Feel free to ask questions by messaging a staff member or using the "Contact" form. You may also utilize the "Feedback" Forum.

12. Crimes: While we respect your privacy, we do not condone nor will we tolerate criminal behavior. If this forum is utilized to facilitate ANY criminal act we reserve the right to remove your membership and/or contact Law Enforcement. Examples of criminal acts would be utilizing any portion of LancTalk.com to stalk or harass another person; relaying personal information about another person such as passwords, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, etc.; posting specific details about a criminal act that, by law, requires us to report to Law Enforcement such information.

13. Banned/Suspended Members: Banned/Suspended members are members that have violated Board Rules, the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or Federal Statute, and/or have been removed in good faith by LancTalk staff. If you are banned you are hereby notified that you are no longer welcome on LancTalk. In the case of Suspended Members you are not permitted to gain access to LancTalk until such time as your suspension has been lifted, this includes returning as another member. Should you gain access to LancTalk by ANY means subsequent to being banned, information concerning the unwanted trespass shall be documented for legal purposes.

14. Spam, Dirty Links, Threats: LancTalk.com believes in providing a safe environment for its members; and all individuals who wish disrupt LancTalk.com shall have their information published. By publishing Spam, Dirty Links or sending us threats we reserve the right, and you waive such rights, to have your username, IP Address, email address, and all other applicable information published at any number of watchdog sites, spam list sites or any other similar sites for an indefinite period of time. We also reserve the right to inform other websites of your actions. By sending or publishing harmful information you are waiving all rights to the information you sent LancTalk.com.

15. Advertisements: LancTalk.com may publish advertising links, which is listed throughout the website. LancTalk.com and it's affiliates holds no responsibility to the accuracy or legitimacy of such advertisements. The websites, the company and their respective internet servers are completely independent from LancTalk.com. When a user clicks or opens the advertisement, the user is redirected to another server that is separate and not affiliated with LancTalk.com. Some of the advertisements are revolving, meaning they change periodically. LancTalk.com contracts with the host of those revolving advertisements, not the individual advertising company. Should you register, sign up, accept terms, provide personal or financial information, purchase any products or services with or from any advertiser listed on LancTalk.com, you do so at your own risk. Dedicated advertisements are thoroughly evaluated by LancTalk.com before they are posted on the website; once the advertising link is posted and made available to members and visitors, LancTalk.com does not routinely monitor the advertisers and their website for legitimacy or accuracy. Should you discover any problems with a particular advertiser or link please feel free to let LancTalk administration know about that particular issue. For complaints concerning the advertising company, their product(s), their procedures or anything not listed, please contact that particular company. To summarize, when you click on any advertisement, every action you take with that advertiser is done at your risk.

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