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Lesbotronic Board Guidelines

Please read and abide by the following if you'd like to post here. Posts that do not conform to these guidelines may be deleted. Violators (especially those that don't stop if warned) may have their membership revoked.

ONE
Real live flesh/blood/bone humans with emotions similar to the ones you experience exist on the reading end of what you type. Yes, we know you already knew that in theory or intellectually . . . but sometimes it's easy to lose sight of or temporarily forget that fact. Here at lesbotronic, we have formed some personal theories involving people that are needlessly abusive to other folks over the internet . . . most of them involving personal frustrations not dealt with effectively in the rest of their non-internet life and a good degree of cowardice. (On the internet, the person on the other end can only "confront" you back via text if they can't do it in person.)

If you would imagine whatever you're typing might result in someone on the other end wanting to smack you upside the head if you said it to their face in "real life" (whether or not they would actually go through with that if given the opportunity) . . . better back up and type something else.

Another test: Would you think it insulting or hurtful if someone said what you're saying . . . to YOU? Doesn't matter if you think it would apply or not . . . would YOU find it insulting? No, really. Think about it. If you can't honestly say no, you're probably in violation of our guidelines and in risk of deletion if you insist on posting it that way anyway.

We've seen WAY too many forums on the internet that consisted of little other than various folks hatefully flaming various other folks. Most of them, actually. We've zero desire to allow that to be recreated here. We simply will NOT host anything like that. You can discuss things that are negative, certainly. But a general interest in constructive discussion and considerate behavior toward other posters (including we that run this thing) is REQUIRED. That is the general atmosphere we will insist on maintaining.

If you want to find yourself an internet forum where the folks on it seem to do little other than flame each other with derisive, disdainful, or just plain hateful comments, we're sure you'll have no problem doing precisely that. But it won't be here.

Posts that seriously violate the ideals of constructive discussion and considerate behavior are subject to deletion when and if we see fit.




TWO
ONE does NOT mean healthy debate isn't healthy. It is. It can be fun, and it definitely leads to personal growth and greater understanding of folks different from yourself.
--Debating ideas/topics/thoughts/theories is completely cool, and intellectually and emotionally enriches us all.
--Challenging someone on a stereotype you think they might be laboring under, or letting someone know an apparent assumption they had wasn't true in your case is also a good and healthy thing.
--An outright, "I don't agree with what you said and this is why . . . (fill in the blank)" is also just fine.

BUT you should do these things in a way that avoids insulting, shaming, putting down or otherwise implying that something is necessarily wrong with the person to whom you're responding. It IS possible. And actually, most psychologists would say challenging/disagreeing with/questioning someone in a kinder, gentler way actually enhances understanding and the other person's willingness to consider your point of view. If you have an agenda, that's great, many of us do, but treading lightly on the feelings of others will actually promote it MORE EFFECTIVELY. They might actually listen and consider what you have to say, instead of just dismissing you as a bitchy troll or a complete jerk.

To put this yet another way to enhance clarity, whatever your thought/idea/debate topic may be and/or how "radical" or "controversial" it may (or may not) be, you can present that in way(s) that are respectful to other board members, ***OR*** you can present in way(s) that portray you as an obnoxious and offensive asshat.

One single solitary idea can have many and many different presentations, with the ultimate effectiveness of the chosen presentation mostly depending on the skill and wisdom of the presenter.

If you're unable to communicate in a way that is respectful, we will delete you. Is this censorship? No. A lack of censorship means you have the right to be as offensive as you want to be on YOUR own website, forum, service, etc., that WE won't stop YOU on YOUR OWN website. See the distinction? It doesn't mean we are in any way obligated to allow you to be obnoxious or abusive to others on OURS. We foot the bill/pay the rent/fork over the website fees, so we have the final say. Think of it as like being in a privately owned and operated bar, and we are the bartenders. If you turn into the online equivalent of the loud drunken fool at the end of the bar that's doing nothing other than harassing the more polite patrons, you "don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."




THREE
Posts need to be ON TOPIC and LABELED DESCRIPTIVELY - Probably goes without saying for most of you out there already, but we've had a strange rash of off-topic posts lately. If we let this sort of thing go completely unchecked, it would ultimately lead to confusion, massive untidiness, and difficulty finding topics of interest for everyone. Please keep your posts on topic and for the love of everything holy, if you're doing anything other than hitting "reply," give 'em descriptive titles/subject lines. That means:

1) Look over the subject areas of the forum before posting. Read what different subjects there are. Decide into which area your post belongs. If there really and truly are no clearly appropriate areas for what you'd like to say/ask/discuss, go to the Suggestions area and suggest we make one.

2) Once you're in your subject area (if it's other than Member Introductions and you haven't posted one yet), do NOT just immediately and without reading the topics already present hit "post new topic." No no no. That's irritating to others that already posted. LOOK TO SEE if there's already a discussion underway about the exact thing you want to discuss. If there is, reply to that rather than starting a duplicate topic. If there's NOT already a discussion underway (and that's more than possible, just please check first), start a new one/"post new topic" BUT

3) If you start a new thread/hit "post new topic," please give your little fledging baby topic a DESCRIPTIVE TITLE/SUBJECT LINE (That would be the blank area at the top, "Subject:")

Examples of GOOD Subjects/Titles
Polygamy Movement recently Linked to Gay Marriage Movement
Coming Out in Your Workplace
Eastern Regional Womyn of Colour Conference
Cool Places to Meet Women in Atlanta
Late twentysomething interweb addicted Buffy fanatic in Cali

Examples of BAD Subjects/Titles
hello :-)
Um hello?
I'm new here
something I wonder about
is this thing on

People, NO ONE WILL KNOW if they want to click on your topic if you don't describe it in the subject line. Some people will click anyway, but others, even others that might have been interested if only they'd been able to see what it was about before having to click first, won't bother. If you typed it, we assume you'd like it to get some attention. Help your topic get the love it truly deserves by describing it in the subject line. Or else, it might wither and die like a sad unwatered little flower. Sad. So sad. So. Very. Sad.




FOUR
The Public Area, the part everyone can see, needs to be kept "PG-13" in terms of language and subject matter. Anything other than that needs to go into the Not Necessarily Safe for Work area.

Why are we doing this? How do you get into the Not Necessarily Safe for Work area? There's a lengthier description in there.




FIVE
We have a wide variety of queer/lesbian/bisexual/poly/curious/exploring women on the board. Some of them have been super "out"/politically active/experienced (sexually and culturally) lesbians/dykes for quite a while, others are something other than that, and others are somewhere in between. We at lesbotronic welcome you all.

If you as a subscriber/poster aren't interested in someone that doesn't fit your criteria of someone you'd like to engage with, that's fine. Feel free to not respond to anyone that doesn't interest you. But if someone doesn't interest you, don't insult them. Inform them, share your experiences with them, enlighten them, encourage them . . . or just plain ignore them if that suits you better, but DON'T insult them or make them feel badly for asking questions. The answers to their questions may seem obvious to you now, but even if you don't remember it well, there was once a time in your life when YOU didn't know the answers either.

Compassion, tolerance, and understanding is the high road. Anything else will make you appear to be a toad.




SIX
Don't post anything that isn't yours unless you are totally respecting their ownership/copyright. That means if you didn't write it or don't own the rights to the picture/graphic, it isn't yours. Posting a link to something you think others should/might want to view is usually cool. Quoting is often cool too. But don't post anything that isn't yours without doing either.

If you have doubts about whether or not something you'd like to share within the forum is going to be cool with the owner, contact them and ask BEFORE you post it. Plagiarism and/or intellectual/artistic theft are very bad things. Please don't do any of that here.




SEVEN
Lesbotronic (both the personals area and this board) does not exist to become an ad farm riddled with sales pitches for a wide variety of internet commercial services.

(Yes, we do understand that there are some ads on the site. However, the proceeds from those go back to the site itself. If it weren't for the ads actually sanctioned by Lesbotronic, we'd no longer be able to afford to keep our "internet doors" open free of charge to our subscribers, and we do consider that a worthwhile goal. While we might prefer the site be completely ad-free, we consider this a small trade off for making our free service possible. However, that doesn't mean we'll permit any asshat that drops by to trash the place with more and More and MORE and WAAAAAY MORE ads. We have some PAID ads in some specific places on the site, and that's all there is or ever shall be.)
If something is an advertisement, but not one that is PAID FOR in a way that helps keep OUR doors open, its life on our site will be severely brief.

Several folks previously joined this forum only to immediately place an ad for a product or service within it. This is rude, against our rules, a waste of our forum bandwidth, and a waste of time for most readers who were probably dropping by in hopes of reading something better. The forum is monitored frequently, and future similar posts will be deleted along with the membership of their authors. While the post might remain up briefly (until we notice it), trust us, it won't remain long enough to make the "advertiser" any money, absolutely not long enough to be indexed by a search engine.

We DO allow the CONVERSATIONAL mention of other internet sites (or any other form of media, for that matter) where that's contextually relevant and/or potentially of interest to forum readers. We also have and will continue recommending other sites ourselves (at no charge to the sites) when we feel the sites are sufficiently worthwhile. It's up to our judgement what constitutes advertising and what constitutes relevant discussion. But believe us, we CAN tell the difference between a subscriber who, while actually participating in the forum and interacting with other members happens to mention another contextually relevant site in a way meant to be helpful or informative . . .

VERSUS

An asshat who just joined merely to immediately smear a completely unsolicited advertisement booger onto one of our community pages. Sorry for the disgusting imagery, but that's exactly how it feels on this end.

Asshats and their posts get deleted. If any forum reader feels they've found an advertisement (along the lines of the above) on the forum you think we've missed, please feel free to let us know about it. Thanks.




EIGHT
These guidelines should be considered a "Work In Progress." We certainly don't know everything (not even close), so if you have suggestions/constructive criticism/helpful additions to share, feel free. (You can Private Message or email us your ideas.) If we think what you have to say is useful, we'll edit this post and incorporate it into the "official" guidelines. and we'll thank you for your efforts. We'll even give you public credit, if you like! (But if you don't, we won't.)



NINE
These are the guidelines, and we at lesbotronic posted them. (um, duh) However, are not constantly policing the forum for potential violations, we'd vastly prefer the Guidelines and their enforcement be a more community/collective effort. You might ask, why are WE not constantly policing the forum ourselves?

-- We don't necessarily have that much time absolutely every single day. (This doesn't pay our rent, we wish it did, but since it doesn't, we have other life stuff we gotta go do regularly.) We will certainly try, but can't guarantee we will notice any offensive behavior immediately. It's entirely possible that another board member will notice something before we will.
-- It's really not the role we always wish to play . . . we don't want to be the "Schoolmarm" or the "Nun with a ruler" or the "Traffic Cop." (OK, maybe in a more "personal" situation we could play that . . but . . . ahem . . wrong topic.) But not here, at least not 24/7.

While it is our site and we do retain the ultimate "say so," we'd rather it be more of a community, and a community effort. So, what does that mean, for you? We sincerely hope it means that if you read something that you think doesn't live up to these guidelines, that you'll take it upon yourself to politely refer the offender to the guidelines right here. Please don't just wait for us to notice and/or get offended if we don't immediately (we might be busy, really, no offense intended). And then, we sincerely hope the offender will take the hint. We sincerely hope it won't have to come down to any authoritative action on our part, we ultimately hope everyone will (or will learn, if warned) to play nice and effectively communicate with others all by their very own selves.

BUT, if you've already politely informed the offender that they're not living up to the guidelines, then they continue to not, please inform us. Let us know exactly what is going on and where, we might not have noticed. Please don't be offended if we failed to notice already, as per the above. But if you let us know, and we agree, we'll warn them ourselves. If they continue to fail to live up to our guidelines even after being warned by lesbotronic, we'll delete and ban their obnoxious ass.

But again, we want that to be a last resort, and we'd prefer you view it that way as well.

OK? :-*
Lesbotronic Webmistresses


TERMS OF SERVICE

When you use any and all areas of lesbotronic.com, you understand and acknowledge that it is strictly informational in nature.

We can't guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, endorse or recommend any subscriber, or accept responsibility or liability for any events arising from the use of this service.

The service that we provide and the information within is certainly intended to enhance your social and romantic life.

However, lesbotronic.com is not and cannot be your chaperone, your nanny, or your personal security guard.

As with most things in the lives of adults, the ultimate decision about what to do and with whom is up to YOU.

Please conduct yourself with normal caution and good common sense, in this and in the rest of your endeavors.

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