THE BOARD RULES
First of all, there are the board rules and guidelines the members are expected to follow. The section under the heading "Board Rules" covers the general rules for being a good member, whether at Gaudiya Discussions or in any other forum, that should be observed.
The section under the heading "May I participate at Gaudiya Discussions?" specifies the audience for which Gaudiya Discussions is aimed for. If it becomes overtly evident that a member is not in the target audience and his presence disrupts the three primary aims of Gaudiya Discussions listed under the heading "The Aims of Gaudiya Discussions", the moderators generally encourage the member to cease from participating.
ON UNBEFITTING BEHAVIOR
If a member verbally assaults another by name-calling or ad hominem, or otherwise employs harsh language or treats a member or a third party in an impolite or provoking manner or slanders them, the moderators may:
- Remove the offending post
- Remove the offending part of the post
- Privately warn the member
- Publicly warn the member
- Restrict the member's posting priviledges
Sometimes posts sway aside from the original topic of the thread to such an extent that the original topic is forgotten. In such cases, the moderators may:
- Split the posts on the new theme into a thread of its own under a separate heading.
- Cut and paste sections from a member's post to the new thread to keep the themes intact.
- If the off-topic posts are frivolous or otherwise do not merit a topic of their own, remove them.
Sometimes discussions become exhausted and only keep repeating the same points on and on ad nauseam. Such topics are generally closed. Examples:
- Discussions in which two parties disagree on a topic and keep repeating the same arguments over and over again.
- Discussions in which an individual goes on a diatribe to establish his point post after post without listening to others.
- Discussions on controversial topics with sufficient tension to make members nag and jab at each others on regular intervals.
Sometimes content is misplaced. In such cases, a moderator will generally move the content into a befitting section. Examples of misplaced content:
- Topics that do not fit under the description of each forum's scope. Please read the forum descriptions.
- Long chunks of text that is copied and pasted from somewhere. Generally you should either post a link to the content in question (if it is online) or post it in the copy and paste section (if it isn't otherwise available).
Sometimes topics become cluttered by comments and posts that do not contribute to the topic in any noteworthy way. Examples of redundant content that is generally removed:
- Short posts that contain nothing of substance. "Yeah well said!" "Hey dude... LOL
- Posts that do nothing but repeat points or content from earlier posts, especially if posted by others than the original posters.
- Excessive quoted content. Only quote the passages that are directly relevant to your comments.
Sometimes posts may be formatted in such a way that they are practically unreadable. Examples of content that should have been worked on by the poster instead of leaving the cleaning up to a moderator:
- Content with ragged margins, generally copied from an e-mail. If what you're about to post is worth posting, it's worth taking the time to join the broken lines together.
- Content with excessive capital letters, color effects or letters in bigger font size. Don't use all capitals in sentences, use bold and italics with good taste.
- Missing or excessive paragraphs. Break the text into paragraphs and leave a space between two paragraphs. Bundle single sentences on one theme into a single paragraph.
- Misspelled words in posts or topic titles. If your post is worth posting, it's worth reading through - use the preview-button and read through your post before submitting it.
- Lack of capital letters in the beginning of sentences, lack of spaces between words and punctuation marks. Paying attention to proper punctuation increases the chances of your post's getting read.
The above should cover most of the situations the moderators will face. It goes without saying that the moderators are not to excercise their moderator abilities as a medium of censorship in furthering their own views in a discussion. However, the moderators do have every right to use their moderator abilities in preserving the clearly expressed purpose of Gaudiya Discussions, ensuring that content stays within the parameters outlined above.
If you are dissatisfied with a moderator decision, please don't start ranting about it in public. Public complaints are what you'll want to do after trying to resolve it over PMs. Contact the moderator in question, or otherwise other moderators, to resolve the issue. Exercise some patience when faced with a situation in which you have been the object of a moderator action. The moderators do not moderate as a full time job, they are unpaid volunteers with heaps of other responsibilities in life and may not be able to get back to you immediately. Situations that arise are frequently discussed to reach a consensus on how to proceed.