Forum Rules

Forum Rules




Version: v1.01

Date: 29.06.2023



Before posting for the first time, please read the Legal Terms, Forum Rules, Privacy Policy and Cookie Usage, available here. Your continued use of the site constitutes your acceptance of these policies.





        1            Introduction

        2            Official Policy Updates

        3            User Accounts

        4            Thread Rules

        5            Replying to a Thread

        6            Starting a Thread

        7            Use of the Report button

        8            Behaviour that is Inappropriate / Should be Reported

        9            Private Messages

   10            Warnings, Warning Points and Sanctions

   11            Appeals Process

   12            Avatars

   13            Signatures

   14            Articles


1                 Introduction

1.1           Your continued use of this website constitutes your acceptance of these Forum Rules. They may be changed at any time without notice. If you do not agree with them, please do not register or use the Service. Use of the Service constitutes acceptance of these Forum Rules. If you wish to close your account, please contact us.

1.2           The website welcomes everyone, not just nerds like us. We’d love for you to register and discuss all things techy, sciencey, computery and more (click the About tab at the top of any page) in a family friendly environment, but if you prefer to just live in General Discussion the whole time and talk about anything else but these things, that’s fine too and post count works; you’re most welcome to be part of our community.

1.3           These rules have been written by Retro with feedback from various people to help make them as good as possible. Ongoing constructive feedback is welcome.

1.4           This is a family friendly site, with rules created to help ensure a pleasant experience for everybody: members, staff, content contributors and anonymous guest visitors alike.

1.5           This website is run by the Management, which comprises of the administrators and moderators of this website along with any member that has a Staff Member banner under their username.

1.6           All moderators are super moderators, there are no restricted mods. This means that each one patrols the whole forum and can therefore edit any post or thread. At the risk of stating the obvious, admins can perform all moderator actions and their permissions are a full superset of the mods’. The Head Admin is the site founder, Retro.

1.7           While we do our best to run the forum in a fair manner, it’s not a democracy: our house, our rules. However, we strive to make them fair and hope that you find them fair too.

1.8           Post count works in every part of the forum, ie every part of the forum is as important as any other.

1.9           The default time zone is UK, London and all posts are always timestamped like this. You can adjust the time zone view in your account preferences to match your time zone if you prefer.

1.10      This website was conceived of, created and run by its founder, Retro, as a personal project. It’s available to anyone who might be interested in joining a forum like this.


2                 Official Policy Updates

2.1           From time to time there will be updates to the Legal Terms, Forum Rules, Privacy Policy and Cookie Usage sections. Please check them occasionally to ensure that you’re familiar with the latest versions. To help you with this, we publish the version number and date of each at the top. We may also make a forum announcement when there is an update, especially for a major revision.

Note that your continued use of this website constitutes your acceptance of the latest Legal Terms, Forum Rules, Privacy Policy and Cookie Usage.

3                 User Accounts

3.1           We don’t demand your real name and identity like some places on the web and recommend that you create an anonymous username, although you don’t have to. However, we do require you to have only one identity on this website, with a username of your choosing, within reasonable limits, see below.

3.2           Only one account per member. If we find you creating more, then the duplicate account will be banned and possibly the primary one, too. You will certainly face a sanction for doing this. If you think that you have a good reason to have a second account, private message Retro, but there’s no guarantee that your request will be granted. Note that you must have a strongly compelling case for this, so no frivolous requests please.

3.3           Don’t attempt to spoof or impersonate other members. This will be considered an attack on NerdZone and is a fast way to a ban.

3.4           Choose an appropriate account name. Offensive, racist, sexual, or otherwise inappropriate names will be deleted. Swear words in usernames, in any language, are not allowed either.

3.5           Don’t use accented characters in your username.

3.6           Some usernames are reserved and cannot be registered.

3.7           If you think that your username needs to be changed for any reason, private message Retro, giving your reasons why. There is no guarantee that your request will be granted, although an explanation will be given if refused.


4                 Thread Rules

4.1           The rules below apply to all sections of the forum.


5                 Replying To A Thread

5.1           First, let’s get the really serious stuff out of the way. We won’t tolerate the promotion of terrorism, sexual abuse, threats against other members, publication of another member’s personal details like real name, house address, phone number, or any criminal act / general criminality etc, ie doxxing. Doing so is a fast way to a ban, no matter who you are, your rank, or how much you’ve contributed, or for how long. If you think something might be on the edge, ask a moderator by private message before posting it. For more information regarding this, see the section below, Behaviour That is Inappropriate / Should be reported

5.2           This site is based in England and hence is an English language website, so please speak English only. If you must quote something in another language, then post it along with a translation and state which language the original is in. Include a link if you’re quoting from a foreign language website. Failure to do so will get your post deleted and / or thread locked.

5.3           No spammers. Anyone trying this on will be summarily permabanned and their posts deleted.

5.4           Writing quality and walls of text. You can write as much as you like within reason (posts can be a few thousand characters long) but please try to split it up into paragraphs, bullet points etc and try to use reasonably good quality English with decent spelling and grammar, in particular.

5.5           Nobody likes to read through a wall of badly written text, shouldn’t be expected to and it’s quite rude and disrespectful to expect them to. Gross examples of this may attract moderator action, so please take care.

5.6           ALL CAPS. DON’T DO IT! IT’S CONSIDERED SHOUTING. SEE HOW ANNOYING IT IS? There’s no excuse for it and is an offense with a potential sanction if repeated. The odd line or paragraph in a post can be written in all caps for emphasis but try to minimise its use. Highlighting in blue and perhaps with bold is generally a better way to emphasise some text. Use the quote feature if appropriate – it really makes quoted text stand out and looks great.

5.7           No thread bombing. Intentionally derailing a thread to make it crash and burn is considered a serious offense and will be dealt with accordingly.

5.8           No trolling as in deliberately being provocative and argumentative just to get under the skin of other members to wind them up / get a rise out of them for your own amusement. We’re very good at detecting this no matter how subtle you think you are, and you will be sanctioned, possibly banned for repeat offenses. See below, Behaviour that is Inappropriate / Should be Reported, for the definition of trolling.

5.9           We won’t tolerate bullying or other malicious behaviour such as toxic posts. Note that while we expect everyone to follow the rules, the perpetrator will be dealt with more harshly than their victim who may have retaliated strongly in the face of significant abuse and strayed a bit. Carrying on with such behaviour is a great way to a ban. Be nice!

5.10      Do not post links to pirate software, movies, music etc. They will be deleted, and repeated attempts are likely to attract moderator sanctions. If you’re not sure and feel that you must ask a moderator, then perhaps you shouldn’t post it. Still, it’s ok to ask: we believe in the motto of measuring twice and cutting once.

5.11      Swearing / expletives / 4-letter words / bad language. while this is a family friendly forum, a small amount of swearing is acceptable, but no gratuitous use.

5.12      Example of acceptable: venting significant frustration at something, eg failure to fix a problem after spending many hours on it. Your swear words will not be censored by us, but you may prefer to put an asterisk instead of one of the letters for some light self-censorship to reduce the visual impact of the words. Since the full word will show, please don’t abuse this privilege. Mods will step in where necessary.

5.13      Example of unacceptable: liberally sprinkling swear words in regular conversation out of habit like some people do in face-to-face conversation. It might be ok there, but not here. Note that this is a classic grey area, so even if you think you’re in the acceptable zone, a moderator may still delete / asterisk the naughty words and ask you to refrain from continuing. Remember that most people don’t like this sort of language.

5.14      Don’t ever use swear words to attack someone no matter how much they annoy you or contempt you have for them, eg “you f*cking loser”. Your comment will be deleted / censored and sanctions applied.

5.15      Old / necro threads typically have had no new posts for a year or more. Feel free to post in these threads if you feel it’s appropriate, but it must be on topic, or at least reasonably related to it. Don’t just bump it for the sake of it. Note that it’s ok to bump an old help thread where you feel that the information in the first post is of significant value and you want to remind the community of it. For example, the delicate job of fitting a CPU and heatsink to a PC motherboard without causing damage could qualify as the principles aren’t likely to change much over time.

5.16      Drifting off topic. It’s a fact of life that the longer a thread goes on for, the more it will tend to drift away from the original post. This is just like real life face to face conversation. We want the conversation to keep flowing so will try not to be too strict about staying on topic, but posts should try to have some bearing to the thread topic, however tenuous. Moderators still have the discretion to ask people to stay on topic and / or edit user’s posts if necessary.

5.17      Don’t hijack someone’s thread for yourself, eg someone posts about an overclocking problem that they’re trying to get help with. Don’t you jump in the middle of that conversation trying to get your overclocking problem fixed as well. Instead, start your own thread. After all, it’s not like we can ever be out of stock of new threads. 😊 Feel free to link back to the existing thread if you think it’s relevant though.

5.18      Multiple posts. These are a continuous sequence of posts in a thread by the same member. We will tolerate them to a degree, perhaps two or three occasionally, but don’t go mad with them, especially so if you think of something to add within a few minutes of posting. Just edit your post rather than create a new one immediately after it.

5.19      Offensive content. You may post about subjects which some sections of society may find offensive, eg racism and slavery, but no promotion of such things. They must exist as purely a conversation point about something in the news maybe, or to educate about attitudes of the past etc. Do not try to deliberately offend people under the guise of “education” or some such. It will be noticed, your thread shut down and possible sanctions applied to you. If you think something is a bit close to the edge, then private message a moderator about it first and only post it if they approve. This kind of conversation can only be posted in General Discussion.

5.20      It’s a given that cruelty against humans is a crime, but this forum is also pro animal rights and against all forms of animal cruelty, including despicable things like fox hunting, general hunting such as “big game” hunting in Africa for so-called “sport”, wet markets etc. Note that fishing is a form of hunting too, although it may not be perceived as such.

5.21      Feel free to talk about these things, their horrors, and efforts to combat them, including links to animal charities and their promotion. However, no promotion of hunting or debate about whether hunting is right or wrong, perhaps with a cute poll. It’s wrong, very wrong, it’s murder, end of story. If you think any of these psychopathic activities are a great way to pass the time, then we don’t want to hear that view on here. This isn’t up for negotiation and attempting to flout this rule will get you shut down and possibly sanctioned. Animal rights conversation can only be posted in General Discussion.

5.22      Try not to post graphic pictures or videos of abuse (human or animal), but if it’s especially necessary for the topic, eg something in the news, hide it in spoiler tags with a warning of what’s underneath and post it only in General Discussion. Don’t spring a nasty, possibly traumatising, surprise on people – especially as kids may see it: there’s enough of that on sites like Facebook. It’s recommended to private message Retro first if you intend to post material like this to let him decide if it’s appropriate. Please don’t private message anyone else about this, only Retro and refrain from posting it until you’ve heard back.


6         Starting A Thread

6.1           Rules are as per the Thread Rules above, with the following additions:

6.2           The topic title should be relevant to the thread subject and should be clear as to what it’s about. No clickbaity titles like “click here to see what happened when I did this!!!” No stupid, meaningless titles like “hard drive”, “internet”, “HALP!” etc.

6.3           If you need help with a technical problem, don’t just immediately post asking for help. Do a little research first such as searching the forum for an answer or Googling it. Make it clear in the thread that you’ve attempted to solve the problem yourself but were unable to and write at least a basic summary of the steps that you’ve taken.

6.4           A forum like this doesn’t operate in realtime, so don’t expect an answer right away. Give it several hours for the replies to come in and at least a day if no one has replied yet.

6.5           Don’t start a second thread on the same topic. That’s just spamming, and it will be shut down as a duplicate, or merged with the original one, as appropriate.

6.6           Your thread must contain some meaningful text. Don’t just post a picture or a meme. Say something relevant about it, even if it’s only a few words. Failure to do so could get your thread closed or deleted.

6.7           No post and run, ie thread starter post is your only one. Some people think it’s funny to post something controversial / annoying that will get a rise out of the community and then just sit back with their proverbial popcorn and watch the carnage unfold. Take part in the thread. Failure to do so is likely to get the thread shut down and a possible sanction applied to you, especially if moderator advice to take part in the thread is ignored.

6.8           An especially big no-no is starting a thread asking for help, getting a bunch of replies, but never replying yourself, even when asked a direct question. That’s extremely disrespectful to the people trying to help you who will want to know how you’ve gotten on with the problem. It may get your thread shut down, perhaps with a sprinkling of sanctions.

6.9           We don’t currently allow trading on this forum so don’t start a thread wanting to buy or sell goods or services as it will be deleted.


7                 Use Of The Report Button

7.1           The Report button is available under every forum and private message post.

7.2           If you find yourself on the receiving end of a bully or otherwise unpleasant member, click the Report button and explain why you’re reporting them in a clear and concise manner. Don’t leave Management guessing as to your intentions through lack of clarity. Try to engage the member you’re reporting as little as possible and let the mods sort out the situation. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should say nothing at all, but we don’t want to see a long back and forth, growing in intensity and vitriol.

7.3           It’s a fact of life that someone’s opinion will normally not be changed no matter how compelling the logic and correctness of your counterargument (assuming you’re actually right, of course), so if there’s no agreement after a couple of posts, try to let it go.

7.4           Abuse of the Report button will see you sanctioned! This includes things like malicious reports where the other member has done nothing wrong and you’re trying to get them into trouble, or waste moderators’ time, or just because you disagree with them, eg politics and religion etc.

7.5           You can click on the Report button under any of your own posts, if necessary. This can be for things like requesting editing rights to it after an extended period of time since your posts lock after a week, a question etc. Don’t click it just to be a nuisance and get a moderator response for no reason. They won’t respond the way you’d want them to…


8                 Behaviour That Is Inappropriate / Should Be Reported

8.1           Racist, hateful, toxic, and otherwise demeaning comments will not be tolerated whether meant as a “joke” or not. Warnings, warning points and sanctions will follow.

8.2           Insulting other forum members. Ad-hominem attacks and calling someone names make you look stupid and doesn’t win you the argument. As noted above, if you attack them using swear words, your comment will be deleted / censored, warning points handed out and sanctions applied. Even using polite language can lead to these consequences. Intent and meaning count for a lot.

8.3           "Trolling". Wikipedia describes it like this: "Trolls can be existing members of a community that rarely post and often contribute no useful information to the thread, but instead make argumentative posts in an attempt to discredit another person, more often than not based on what they thought was said rather than what was actually said by the other person, concentrating almost exclusively on facts irrelevant to the point of the conversation, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others. The key element under attack by a troll is the forum or group's recognized and agreed upon power structure. To this extent, a troll does not necessarily have to make malicious or incorrect comments".


8.5           Posting useless / wrong information in response to any technical or help seeking topic whether done deliberately or not. Posting misinformation designed to lead a member to come to harm in some way, hurt someone else, an animal, or damage equipment will be dealt with more severely.

8.6           Non-constructive criticism of a person's English language abilities. It’s ok to point out walls of text, all caps, or excessively bad grammar or spelling, but be constructive about it, advising that it prevents the community from helping them as well as it could and perhaps direct them to these Forum Rules. Don’t just slag them off for it and call them stupid, etc. The reason for it may be that they have some sort of learning difficulty, eg dyslexia or similar, and thus not be able to help it. Unlike people without this difficulty, they find it very hard to write well, although they’re still expected to make an effort to do the best they can. Similar for someone whose first language isn’t English and is really struggling to write well, so cut them all some slack. At their discretion, moderators may intervene to improve the writing quality of such posts. This would be done to clarify wording, aid understanding and potentially help other forum members to help them better.

8.7           Posting "FUD" (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), especially if the poster is trying to pass it off as legitimate news.

8.8           Post whoring. This is posting nonsense for the pure joy of it and perhaps to increase post count, otherwise known as spamming or thread crapping. That post count must be earned.

8.9           Posting only a picture / meme without relevant topical comment, especially as bait or to dismiss another member’s opinion. This must always have explanatory text attached to it if you must do it, but we’d rather you didn’t. Let’s just be nice instead.


9                 Private Messages

9.1           The XenForo forum software is designed so that private messages (PMs) work in a similar way to forum threads but are private to the participants and don’t add to your post count.

9.2           The same etiquette that applies in the forum also applies to private messages. There is a Report button under every post which can be used if you think something isn’t right about it. However, please try to resolve the issue with the other party before hitting that button, or perhaps just leave the conversation and / or block the member, if necessary.


10           Warnings, Warning Points and Sanctions

10.1    Definitions

10.1.1  Warnings: messages from Management (mod or admin) advising you about something you’ve done wrong, and any corrective action expected.

10.1.2  Warning Points: these can be applied to your user profile by Management due to some infraction that you’ve committed. The greater the infraction, the greater the number of Warning Points. A Sanction may or may not follow, depending on the circumstance.

10.1.3  Sanctions: these are always applied only after Warning Points have first been applied to your user profile and an explanation given for them. Typical sanctions include deleting your post, thread ban, forum ban etc. Bans can be for a variable length from just a day for a light slap on the wrist, up to a year, or even permanent for a permaban.

10.2      This forum software supports a Warning Points system that can be added to a member’s user profile by Management should they do something bad / wrong / inappropriate. You don’t need to concern yourself with the Warning Points structure. All you have to aim for is to abide by the rules at all times and be nice to other members to avoid accruing any, which is otherwise likely to lead to sanctions of various kinds.

10.3      The points can take several months to come off your profile too and the sanction will remain in place until then.

10.4      Whenever you earn Warning Points, you will also be warned in writing, usually a private message, advising the reason for the points. If you disagree with them sufficiently to want to appeal them, then please follow the official Appeals Process, below.

10.5      Note that the Warning Points are separate to the points that you can see against someone’s profile and can only be viewed by the member whom they belong to, or Management.


11           Appeals Process

11.1      Management will endeavour to treat everyone fairly, and we reserve the right to take any actions that we deem necessary with or without notice and not limited to deleting / editing posts, warning members (with or without warning points added to your profile), banning troublesome members etc. This includes acting against things that are not explicitly mentioned in these Forum Rules if Management feel that Warnings and / or Warning Points are appropriate.

11.2      Be polite, courteous and no swearing at any time – this goes a long way to resolving disputes. Please try to be clear and detailed about the issue without being overly verbose, which will allow us to help you better, plus please pay attention to grammar and general typos. The better your presentation the more likely you are to win your case.

11.3      Be aware that just because you’ve reported a problem, it will not necessarily be resolved to your satisfaction. Management, individually or in a group, will decide on the outcome that’s best for this website and what we believe to be the right action to take, which may or may not align with what you seek.

11.4      This appeals process is available to registered members, moderators and administrators. In other words, everyone has a right to be heard.

11.5      The steps are as follows:

11.6      If you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly, in the first instance, attempt to resolve the issue with the registered user / mod / admin involved if you know who they are.

11.7      If you can’t resolve the issue, or don’t know who they are, then private message any mod about the issue, explaining it, the previous steps taken and with whom, if any.

11.8      If you still can’t resolve it, then private message any admin explaining the issue, the previous steps taken and with whom.

11.9      If you’re still unhappy with the outcome and you’re convinced that you’re right and still feel strongly enough about it, then private message Retro. Explain the issue, steps taken and with whom. Again, please be polite and absolutely no swearing.

11.10 Note that as the site owner, the final decision rests with Retro, ie he’s the final arbiter – there is no further appeals process possible after this, so try to only message Retro once all other avenues have been exhausted.

11.11 IMPORTANT: if you message Retro first, he will advise you to try the other avenues first. However, if you insist on a decision from him at this stage, he will look at your issue, but his decision is final, so if it goes the wrong way, you cannot then message a moderator or another admin to try and overturn it.


12           Avatars

12.1      These are a great way to uniquely brand yourself in our community and is often a fun thing to do. However, there are a few rules to keep things nice.

12.2      No animated avatars as they can be annoying for some members.

12.3      No sexually explicit avatars, eg no pornographic ones. They may be of an attractive woman or man though, perhaps an actor / actress that you like or an anime cartoon character whom you think is cool etc. If in any doubt, please run your intended avatar past a moderator first in a private message.

12.4      Breaking any of these rules will get your avatar deleted and you will be asked to refrain from doing it again.

12.5      Management reserves the right to delete any avatar even if you think it fits within the rules. You will, however, be given a reason for this action which you may appeal.

12.6      Note that if your avatar is deleted by Management, it cannot be restored afterwards, therefore, always keep a copy of the original file on your computer, should you subsequently be allowed to use it after a successful appeal, or want to use it on another site.


13           Signatures

13.1      Like avatars, these are a great way to uniquely brand yourself in our community and is often a fun thing to do. However, there are a few rules to keep things nice.

13.2      No animated graphics as they can be annoying for some members.

13.3      No sexually explicit signatures, eg no pornographic ones. They may be of an attractive woman or man though, perhaps an actor / actress that you like or an anime cartoon character whom you think is cool etc. If in any doubt, please run your intended signature past a moderator first in a private message. Maximum picture dimensions are 128 pixels tall by 512 pixels wide.

13.4      You may link to your own website or that of someone else as long as it’s not of a commercial nature, eg an enthusiast website / forum that’s not selling anything, or a blog etc and doesn’t compete with NerdZone. Note that linking to a shell site that then links to a commercial site is not allowed either. You may also link to one or more bona fide registered charity sites, and this is encouraged.

13.5      Your signature must not be more than four lines deep and the text must be a maximum size of BB code 18 in your profile’s signature editor.

13.6      Breaking any of these rules will get some or all of your signature deleted, and you will be asked to refrain from doing it again.

13.7      Management reserves the right to delete / edit any signature even if you think it fits within the rules. You will, however, be given a reason for this action which you may appeal. Note that it’s not possible to restore an edited or deleted signature, so perhaps keep a copy on your computer if it’s important to you.


14           Articles

14.1      This website has a unique feature where we encourage all members to write home page articles, increasing user engagement and giving a more creative outlet for our members. As such, there are a few rules to follow to ensure good quality articles.

14.2      These and basic instructions for writing articles will be covered in our Resources section in the future. For now, please contact Retro if you’d like to write articles where he’ll enable your account and help you to get started once he believes that you’re able to write a sufficiently good quality article for this website. You may be asked to write a demo article to demonstrate this.

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