1. BFF has one rule above all else - Behave like adults!
What do we mean by this? Imagine the forum is run by a bunch of people who have invited you over for dinner - we expect sensible, well thought out conversation. If you start getting personal with other diners, you are likely to be ejected. This not your house after all, you don't have a right to sit at someone else's table and disrupt things.
2. Do not make things personal. Attack the argument, not the arguer. No name calling. Terms like liar and idiot are beyond the pale and will not be tolerated here.
3. Remember at all times that this forum is here to discuss the subject of Bigfoot, not to discuss other members. If you don't have something nice to say about someone, you might want to consider not saying anything.
4. Respect other members and their right to their opinion.
5. If you have grievances against others from the past, leave them in the past and do not bring them here.
6. All opinions concerning the Bigfoot phenomenon are welcome regardless of which side of the proverbial fence you may reside in relation to the entire BF mystery.
7. Do not discuss religion or politics. No exceptions.
8. Use the report button to report a post that is not in keeping with the rules or guidelines - DO NOT address the offending post yourself or the moderators may not be able to assist, and you may incur punishment if your response violates the rules. Remember, the report button is your friend - this version of the software immediately draws the moderator's attention to a problem and makes it easier to deal with it - this forum will work best if everyone helps out and you moderate your own posts. The less a moderator has to do, the happier they will be.
The Guidelines (above) are a condensed version of the Forum Rules (below) and are enforceable by Staff members at their discretion.
The following rules apply to all areas and portions of the Forum, including personal messages, chat, signature lines, links and any other material posted in any fashion on this forum. While you are a member here, we expect you to abide by them:
BFF Forum Rules:
1. Respect For Others
A. All members of these Forums will respect the opinions and presence of other members of the Forums. You are welcome to engage in challenging and spirited debate with other users, but rudeness will not be tolerated. Name-calling, disrespecting other users or throwing personal insults against them will not be tolerated. Flaming another user because of their spelling or word choice will not be tolerated. Personal attacks of any kind are not allowed. Racial/Ethnic or sexist slurs will not be tolerated. Antisocial behavior, in general, will not be tolerated.
B. Flaming new members for their ignorance on proper posting procedures, their grammar or spelling issues, or the content of their messages is expressly forbidden. We appreciate our members' concern for new members and invite everyone to welcome them. One of the strengths of BFF is that it has always tolerated new members and its old members have always been willing to answer the same questions over and over again with patience and grace. Please let this continue.
C. Users will not under any circumstances publish the private details of members to this forum or any other website without express permission of the member involved, and we would discourage you from publishing your private details on the open forum too. Likewise, BFF will not disclose private details of members unless we believe that a criminal act has taken place. The only exception to this is that we sometimes share the IP addresses used by trolls and spammers with other Bigfoot communities so that they can be on their guard. We will never share real names or email addresses with other websites or organizations.
D. The PM system and all other areas of the Forum are subject to the same rules. Members are encouraged to report any harassment via PM to the Forum Staff. What this means is that you may not use PM's to say things that are not allowed on the public portion of the forum. Users should take note that PM means 'Personal Message', not 'Private'. Under certain extreme circumstances such as an allegation of abusive messages, and only with the member's cooperation, we may log in as the member in question in order to read their PMs in order that we can investigate. Alternatively, members can archive PM exchanges to their email address and forward these to Staff members.
E. If you have any issue with another user, use the report option or contact a Moderator. Responses to offensive posts that violate the rules will be punished in the same manner as any other violation. The use of the report button is the proper response to any material which you feel is in violation of the Forum Rules or Guidelines.
F. Any member who claims to have disingenuously presented evidence of Bigfoot or that proof from others has established that they have perpetrated a hoax of evidence for the existence of Bigfoot shall be banned from participation on the Bigfoot Forums (BFF). The terms Hoax and Hoaxing as they pertain to this section shall be defined as:
1. An act intended to deceive or trick.
2. Something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means
For investigative purposes, accusations of a Hoax or Hoaxing must be accompanied by supporting documentation reasonably identifying the alleged member and incident which can include; photographs, audio, video, computer files, Internet links, ISP data, and/or any other relevant information. Unsubstantiated reports or claims will not be accepted. If the investigation findings support the accusation(s) then the member will be banned by a BFF Administrator.
A. The BFF aims to be 'family friendly'. Foul language is not allowed in any area of the Forum, although we do incorporate an extensive 'bad word' filter to catch the occasional slip. Explicit or implied foul language (profanity) even that represented in part by special characters such as asterisks (and/or other place-holders designed to bypass forum software word censoring filters) will result in edits. Though mods may consider intent and target, all such violations are subject to immediate edit/removal by moderators/administrators. In no case will content be deleted unless it is impossible to save the meaning of the phrase or sentence due to violations (in which case a whole sentence or post might have to be eliminated). The forum moderation/administration staff reserves the right to consider a separate discussion area for members to discuss "adult-language elements" of BF behavior if there is a way to determine how to implement such a subforum in the future.
With that in mind, this forum has a 'PG' rating - do not let your children read or post to this forum unless you are happy with its content - the onus is on you as a parent.
B. Please do not post pictures or links of an adult or objectionable nature in any area of the Forum. Please keep the conversation away from topics that could be considered obscene or objectionable. While neither the management, administrators nor moderators of the Bigfoot Forums would like to be seen as prudes, we have a strict policy regarding offensive material. It will not be tolerated in any areas of the Forum, including personal messages, chat, sig lines, avatars, or any other area associated with the Forum. Anything that is calculated to cause offense, or is reasonably sure to do so, will be subject to moderator action. There will be no exceptions.
C. Do not discuss religion or politics. No exceptions.
D. Substantive violation of copyright in any way is expressly forbidden. If you are the copyright or trademark holder of material posted to this forum, and wish for it to be removed, please contact an Administrator immediately. By posting photos or other material to this forum, you give permission to the BFF to use the material within the confines of their activities. Original text posted to this forum becomes the property of the BFF and the posting member. You may repost your own content as long as it's not verbatim on other forums, blog or publication (print or electronic). Do not post other member's content on any other forums, blog or publication (print or electronic) without first seeking permission of the forum, and of the person who posted it. Members who contribute articles, stories, and photos that were not original to the BFF retain the copyright for those materials. By posting these on the BFF you allow the BFF to use this material for non commercial purposes. Please remember that almost all images posted to this forum have a copyright owner, and that person's copyright is valuable to them. Do not copy or reuse images of any sort from this forum without seeking permission of the copyright owner. By posting your images to the forum, you agree to allow BFF to use your content for non-commercial use.
If you post a link to your blog, podcast, or forum you must have a reciprocal link on your pages back to the BFF for it to be allowed.
E. If your post or thread disappears, it may be under review by moderators. Do not repost the content and do not ask questions about it on the open forum. Contact a moderator by PM instead. The BFF will, at its discretion, close or move from public view any posts or threads that we find to have exceeded these boundaries.
Policy Regarding Signatures
Signature lines may subsume one and a half inches of lined text measured from first line to last line and include maximum of forum font size 5 or 18 pt. standard font. The default signature color is "forum subdued gray". Colored text is permitted. Movie (.avi, mp4, etc.) and .gif file format moving pictures are restricted while a small picture may be used along with a personal website reference. Mods/admins may apply all other rules of the forum that may apply to the interpretation of material contained within signatures.
3. Respect For The Forum and the Forum Staff
A. The Bigfoot Forums is operated with the aid of volunteers that include a Steering Committee, administrators and Moderators. Members of this Forum will follow the instructions of the Administrators and Moderators. Questioning their actions or motivations in public will not be tolerated. Members will practice common courtesy in dealing with the Staff and users of this Forum. Should you have an issue with the way a Staff member is behaving or disagree with a decision, you should first take it up with the Moderators. It is important to remember that this Forum is run solely on a volunteer basis.
B. Trolling (purposely posting messages designed to alarm, antagonize, or provoke other users) will not be tolerated. The staff -- not the users -- will determine if someone is trolling. The Staff encourages members to report posts that may be considered trolling.
C. Multiple accounts are expressly forbidden on this forum - there is no need for them, and anyone found to have more than one account is likely to be banned with no further warning. If you have more than one account, please contact a moderator with an explanation, who will agree to an 'amnesty' in order to correct the situation.
D. Promotional links to other Bigfoot communities, businesses and/or organizations are not allowed except within the confines of a member's profile (i.e. not in public messages). We consider it disingenuous to advertise competing Bigfoot communities by taking advantage of the free and open nature of our own. However, links and/or references to Bigfoot media or material may be made for the purpose of discussion of that material.
E. Leave the moderation of the forum to the forum staff. Members should not attempt to control or influence what others post on this forum.
F. The forum depends on contributions from paying PMP members in order to operate therefore negative comments regarding the forum, sections of the forum, its content or forum bashing in general determined by staff to be potentially detrimental to the efforts here, shall not be posted openly in the forums. Members with negative comments regarding the forum, its content or various sections are encouraged to contact an admin, moderator or member of the FMT via personal messenger with any complaints concerns or issues.
4. Procedures Regarding Moderator or Administrative Actions, Punishment and Appeals
A. The BFF operates under a three-strikes policy. What this means is that each warning by a Staff member accounts for one-third of a member's overall warn status. Reaching the third strike (regardless of what the strikes were for) will result in a minimum three-day suspension and a possible seven-day Moderator Preview period (at the discretion of the Staff). At the end of this period the member will remain at three strikes and any further violations will result in temporary bans of longer duration and possible permanent ban (at the discretion of the Staff).
B. The Staff reserves the right to remove any material it deems as inflammatory or antisocial without warning or explanation, although Staff members are encouraged to explain such actions if taken.
C. The Staff reserves the right to terminate any user's membership for any reason at any time.
D. All appeals first go to the BFF's Administration which comprises of the Administrators under the leadership of the Chief Administrator. Appeals can be heard on any topic - from a closed thread, a deleted post, a warning, a suspension, etc. All minor decisions end there. The Administration will hear the member out and then decide to overturn or uphold the original decision. All decisions up to and including a single strike warning end there.
Major decisions, including double-warnings that result in a full warn status bar, suspensions, and bans from the Forum can be appealed to the Steering Committee. Members have 30 days, from the date of action, to file an appeal under this clause. At that point, the Committee will be presented by a statement from the member and a statement from the Staff - both will be provided for by the Chairman. The Committee will then vote on one of three options:
1. Uphold the decision.
2. Overturn the decision - reduce the warning level, unban the member, or otherwise alter the punishment - or,
3. Overturn the decision and move to strike the Moderator - multiple strikes may result in Moderator removal.
Please send all appeal requests to email@example.com - attempts to circumvent this process may result in your appeal not being heard at all.
Any decisions involving FMT misconduct (by either the Chief Administrator or Committee Chair) will heard by the BFF Director. The Director's decisions are final.
I - Low level appeals (warns, post deletion/edits, etc.) are heard by the Administrators. PM an Administrator.
II - Upper level appeals (long term suspensions/warnings) are heard by the Steering Committee. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
III - Complaints about the Chief Administrator or Steering Committee Chair are heard by the BFF Director. Send a PM to the BFF Director
Premium Membership Area
Rules in the Premium Membership area vary somewhat from the General Forum rules. Applicants must agree to specific terms and conditions and affirm they are 18 YOA or older. Most of the topic and content restrictions are waived and adult language is permited in the "Tar Pit" forum. Please consult the specific rules in that area for clarification.
Addendum for member to member transactions in The BFF Marketplace...
BY USING THE BFF MARKETPLACE TO ENTER INTO ANY MEMBER TO MEMBER TRANSACTIONS, YOU AGREE THAT NEITHER THE BFF NOR INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BFF SHALL HAVE ANY LIABILITY TO YOU UNDER ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE TO ENTER INTO ANY TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING THE EXCHANGE OF GOODS OR SERVICES. YOU HEREBY RELEASE AND FOREVER WAIVE ANY AND ALL CLAIMS YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST THE BFF OR INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BFF FOR ANY SUCH LOSSES OR DAMAGES YOU SUSTAIN IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE TO BUY, SELL OR TRAD