|The Lion King Fan Art Message Board Official Rules |
- Version 2.0 - July 4, 2005
- Version 1.3 - December 16, 2004
- Version 1.2 - November 3, 2004
- Version 1.1 - November 24, 2003
- Version 1.0 - June 19, 2001
The Lion King Fan Art Message Board (hereafter referred to as Lilymud) is a public message board designed to let fans of Disney's 1994 The Lion King movie and members of The Lion King Fan Art Archive meet, discuss current issues, and, of course, talk about The Lion King and the online community it has created.
As with any message board, there are some general rules and guidelines that everyone should know in terms of how to interact with the board software itself. Lilymud uses the vBulletin system, which is a widely-used message board application that contains many powerful and useful features. Please refer to the vBulletin FAQ for information about how to interact with vBulletin if you are unfamiliar with the system.
Most problems that arise on Lilymud are not issues with the vBulletin software but rather misunderstandings about or ignorance of what kind of things are and are not allowed on the board. This document has been written to define some ground rules to help keep the board at large running smoothly. Rules are subject to change under administrator and moderator approval, so stay alert for announcements concerning rule additions and changes.
II. Agreement to Terms
By registering as a member of this message board, you agree to abide by all rules and guidelines outlined and detailed in this document. Failure to comply to these rules will result in administrative action, which includes but is not limited to:
In the case of illegal activities, proper action will be taken to ensure the safety of Lilymud's members and staff, as well as the site itself, and to inform the proper authorities of the infractions.
- Issuance of warnings or strikes (three warnings constitutes one strike, and three strikes constitutes a ban)
- Loss of posting privileges in certain forums
- Loss of special features, such as signatures or avatars
- Loss of board membership (temporary ban, permanent ban, IP ban)
III. Members and their Responsibilities
This section will outline the ranking system used on Lilymud, as well as the responsibilities of board members.
A. Ranking Status
Both staff and non-staff members of Lilymud have special ranks that determine privileges.
The job of the Lilymud staff is to make sure these rules are followed and to generally keep the peace. They are also subject to all rules that normal registered users are. All staff members are encouraged to discuss board issues with the other staff.
- Administrators - These are the highest-ranking of Lilymud's staff members. They have all the permissions of Super Moderators (described below), and in addition have the ability to see invisible members, modify board code, change board access rights, and even shut down the board should problems arise. Administrator actions influence the entire board.
- Super Moderators - These are like "second in command" and are only a small step below Administrators as to what they can do. Their powers include adding forums, themes, and smilies, changing member status (particularly banning and restriction), changing user names, deleting accounts, moving threads, and the ability to see who voted for what in polls. They also can do everything a Moderator can do (described below). Super Moderator actions reach across all the forums.
- Moderators - The third rank of staff members, Moderators are able to close and stick threads, delete and edit posts, and view user account information (such as IP address, e-mail, status, posts, and so on). They also have all the rights that normal Registered users have (described below). Moderators usually have power only within the forum(s) to which they are assigned.
Users are what make Lilymud what it is. Without a strong user base, Lilymud would not be the thriving hub of the online Lion King community it is.
- Registered - These are normal board members and make up the majority of the user base. Registered users may create threads, add posts to threads, create polls, set up personal profiles and signatures, and access private messages. Registered users may not delete posts, but they can edit them; however, this privilege can only be used for special circumstances, and there are very strict rules regarding editing posts (see IV.A.7. Editing of Posts). Registered users are expected (and required) to obey the staff members when issued warnings or asked to stop doing something against the rules.
- Banned by Moderators (or Banned) - These are Registered users who are no longer allowed to view or post on the board because the have broken too many rules. Some bannings are temporary, but in the case of severe offenses they may become permanent. Banned members are not allowed to register another account or use another already registered account until the ban is lifted. Attempts to "get around" a ban will result in temporary bans becoming permanent.
- Inactive - Registered users become Inactive users when they state that they are leaving the board. They are not allowed to post, but unlike banning, they are allowed to view the board. Users remain in the Inactive state for a minimum of two weeks, though ill behavior during that minimum period may result in additional time in the Inactive state or outright banning (refer to IV.B.4. Behavior After Being Banned for more information). After the time period is up, Inactive members are allowed to e-mail the staff to have their account reset to Registered user status.
- (COPPA) Users Awaiting Moderation - Users who have applied for an account but haven't been approved yet fall into this group. They are not allowed to post, but they are allowed to view the board except during rare crisis times when the board must be set to only allow Registered users are allowed in. Users Awaiting Moderation have not broken any rules; they are just "on their way in."
All members of Lilymud, from staff to normal users, have certain responsibilities. These are detailed below.
1. Staff Powers
Moderators, Super Moderators, and Administrators are permitted to use the powers granted by their rank to the full extent necessary. Using these powers in ways detrimental to the board, such as being unfairly harmful to a member or breaking the rules, will be treated as an abuse of power. Please note: being able to see invisible members or the ability to ban people within reason is not abuse of power. Banning for no reason or for personal conflicts, however, can be abuse of power. Staff members found to be abusing power are subject to the consequences detailed in II. Agreement to Terms and may lose their staff position.
2. Confidential Information
Information and discussion posted in private staff discussion forums is to remain confidential. These forums are not there for staff members to have parties or gossip about board members behind their backs, but instead to discuss such things as board issues and what to do about policies. Staff members found to be leaking information are subject to the consequences detailed in II. Agreement to Terms and may lose their staff position.
3. Staff Responsibilities
Staff members are expected and required to do their part to help keep Lilymud running smoothly, and to deal with issues that arise in their specific sections of the board appropriately. If assistance is needed, they are to notify another staff member and ask for help. Staff members unwilling to do their jobs will be removed from the staff.
4. User Responsibilities
Non-staff users are expected and required to be positive assets to the Lilymud community. Users who choose to ignore or disobey the rules set forth in II. Agreement to Terms are subject to the consequences detailed in that section. Members of the board are encouraged to contact staff members if any problems arise.
5. Reporting of Posts and Administrative Actions
Any member of Lilymud who feels a post made by another member is questionable (either because it violates rules set forth in this document or because it is personally offending) is advised to click on the "Report this post to a moderator" link in the bottom right corner of the post. Please refrain from making a new thread concerning the matter, because mistakes and misinterpretations are very easily made on a public message board and in almost all circumstances, making the issue larger only makes it worse. Let the staff handle the situation.
Likewise, any member of Lilymud who believes an administrative action by a Moderator, Super Moderator, or Administrator conflicts with the rules set forth in this section, please contact the staff member in question and a second staff member to discuss the matter. If a staff member is found to have broken a board rule, the staff member will be treated accordingly as per II. Agreement to Terms and may lose his or her position completely.
IV. General Rules
The following is a description of all policies and guidelines that users are expected to follow on Lilymud. Please be sure you have read them all thoroughly and understand them, as they are actively enforced.
A. Posting on the Board
Adding content to Lilymud in the form of posts, threads, polls, and attachments are subject to the following rules. They are mostly common sense, but please be sure you understand them. If there are any questions, please contact a staff member.
Flaming is not allowed on Lilymud. Examples of flaming include (but are by no means limited to):
Examples of what is not considered flaming:
- "You're really stupid."
- "You suck."
- "Go jump in a garbage disposal, you cretin."
- "Your religion is pathetic."
Constructive criticism is not flaming. Do not accuse someone of flaming if it is obvious that they are not. In addition, keep personal disputes off the boards or, at the very least, deal with them through private messages. Members found to be flaming will be issued a strike.
- "Your picture looks copied."
- "I don't agree with you."
- "My religion believes such-and-such."
- "I don't like what you're saying."
2. Stalking and Harassment
Stalking is not allowed on Lilymud, nor is harassment due to to religion, race, gender, physical or mental attributes, sexual orientation, or any other reason. Any member who is being stalked or harassed is advised to inform a staff member immediately, at which time appropriate action will be taken.
3. Mature Content
Pornography or "adult" content and roleplay (material not suitable for viewers under 18 years of age) is not allowed on the public boards. Members wishing to discuss such topics are required to carry on their conversations through e-mail, private messaging, instant messaging, or on other boards outside of Lilymud. Members who feel their content is suitable for the board but may not be appropriate for children under 13 years of age are required to include a clear warning in the subject of the thread. This includes both written content and links to other sites which involve the questionable material. Offenses against these rules will result in a warning and the possibility of the material, post, or entire thread being removed.
Plagiarism is illegal and is not tolerated on Lilymud. This includes (but is not limited to) posting, editing, or remaking someone else's picture/story and claiming to be the original artist/author. Members found guilty of plagiarism will be issued a warning or, in severe instances, a strike. Please see IV.A.9. Reporting Art Theft for more information regarding stolen artwork.
Drama is a very broad topic with no clear definition, but for the purposes of Lilymud it is defined as "any action that, on purpose or accidentally, triggers large-scale conflict between board members." While any topic can potentially be blown into full-scale drama, some especially touchy subjects which have sparked such problems in the past include sexual orientation, religion, abortion, and very personal issues. While it is perfectly fine to talk about these topics, please be mindful of everyone's opinions. Most drama is easily prevented if the members involved talk civilly about their issues or simply drop the subject altogether. While most drama will not result in any action other than an administrative restraining order, severe cases can result in some or all of the consequences detailed in II. Agreement to Terms. Please keep issues that may create unnecessary drama outside of Lilymud and in more private locations, such as LiveJournal.
6. Personal Conflicts
Personal conflicts between two more more members are to be kept private. However, this is not the same as discussing or disagreeing about public issues: anything can be discussed perfectly well without bringing in personal conflicts. Please refer to IV.A.5 Drama for more information about discussing certain topics on Lilymud.
7. Editing of Posts
Editing a post to change its meaning is prohibited. Editing posts to fix typos or to add additional information that was originally meant to be included is acceptable (within reason), but modifying a post to change its meaning is not allowed. Instead, simply make another post to express any new views that may have arisen since the last post was made, and always think over what is being said and what the possible repercussions may be before confirming the post. Members found guilty of editing posts will be issued a warning or, depending on the severity, a strike.
8. Old Threads
It is possible that while browsing the forum a member may come across an old (no new posts in more than a few weeks or so). While there is no strict rule against bumping old threads, it is strongly discouraged. Please just create a new thread instead, as this will prevent confusion stirred caused by bringing up long-settled issues.
9. Reporting Art Theft
Members who wish to report art theft are strongly encouraged to privately contact the suspected offender and the artist who is being infringed against before posting about it publicly. Notifying the involved parties directly does much more good to settle the issue than blabbing about it to everyone else. However, there are circumstances in which direct contact may not be possible or feasible. These include:
In these cases, there is a special board called Art Theft which is designed specifically for discussing these issues. However, please do everything that is possible to settle the conflict privately before making it public. Sometimes mistakes and misunderstandings do occur, and simply telling the offending artist to cut it out is sufficient to end the dispute.
- Knowing a picture is stolen but not knowing the original artist or how to contact him or her
- No cooperation with the artist suspected of art theft and assistance on what further steps to take is required
- Not knowing how to report a theft or who to report it to
Please note that threads and posts in the Art Theft forum are moderated and thus do not immediately appear. Do not attempt to repost something in that forum because it does not appear immediately after it is submitted; moderation of these posts depends on staff availability and may take some time. Please be patient.
10. Personal Information
As Lilymud is a public message board, please be aware that any information that is posted to it will be available for all to see. All members (especially minors) are strongly advised to not post any personally identifiable information. While Lilymud is generally considered a safe place, non-members can easily gain access to any information posted in the community and perhaps use it for unlawful purposes. Please be mindful of any and all information posted to the board.
11. Non-deletion of Threads
With the exception of a few very extreme circumstances, threads will not be deleted from Lilymud. That is to say, if a user starts a thread but then changes his or her mind and wants it to be removed, the staff will not delete it. This rule is very similar to IV.A.7 Editing of Posts. It is best to always think before posting anything on a public forum.
B. Other Board Behavior
Certain actions outside of normal posting are monitored for violations as well. These are detailed below.
Members are allowed to register one main account. Usernames should be brief and not contain any foul language or otherwise questionable content. Please note that new accounts are moderated and therefore will not appear immediately after being registered; a staff member must approve the account before it can be used. Please do not try to re-register if an account is not immediately approved, as this may result in none of the accounts being approved at all. If it has been over a week since applying for an account and it has still not been activated, please politely contact a staff member about the issue.
2. False Identity
Impersonation of another person, Lilymud member or otherwise, is prohibited. Members found guilty of this will be issued a strike or banned. It's not hard to be honest.
Any attempt to hack into the message board's database, server, or other components will result in a permanent ban and notification being sent to the offender's ISP. Any attempt to limit another member's access or use the boards in an unauthorized manner (such as to flood it, transmit viruses, or otherwise cause trouble) will be dealt with severely.
4. Leaving Policy
Any member who claims to be "leaving" the board, be it on Lilymud or elsewhere, will be put in the Inactive state (see III.A.2. Users for more information) for a minimum of two weeks, regardless of whether they change their minds later or not. This is to make people think twice before they storm off the message board or make a long dramatic "I'm leaving" thread; members who are honestly leaving do not need to make a post about it. An Inactive user who wishes to return to Lilymud after the prescribed waiting waiting period should e-mail a staff member to have his or her account restored. However, ill behavior such as re-registering after being put in Inactive or flaming staff members during the wait period will either result in more time added to the waiting period or an outright ban.
5. Behavior After Being Banned
Members who have been banned are not to re-register for another account or harass the staff about it; this will result in a permanent ban. Additionally, attempts to "get around" a ban will result in a stricter ban being applied. If there are any questions, contact a staff member.
6. Avatar Pictures
The maximum size for avatar pictures is 200x200 pixels. Please do not upload an avatar that contains questionable content, such as that explained in IV.B.7. Signatures. As a common courtesy to other board members, please try to keep avatars as small as possible, both in dimensions and file size. Large avatars clutter up the screen and increase download times.
Signatures must not be any larger than 500x200 pixels. Below is a guide as to how large 500x200 pixels is:
Take off every sig. You know what you doing.
Large signatures waste screen space and take time to download, so just like with avatars, please keep them as small as possible. A small banner image and perhaps a bit of text is more than enough for members to "make their marks" on the board. Members found to have signatures that are too large will be issued a private message; failure to correct the signature size will result in loss of signature privileges and a strike.
The rules outlined in IV.A. Posting on the Board apply to signatures as well. Flaming, mature content or links to mature content, flaming, harassment, personal issues, and other prohibited actions are not to be included in signatures. Failure to comply to these rules will result in signature loss as well as the consequences for violating the rules in the aforementioned section.
V. A Living Document
These official rules are always under constant review and are subject to change at any time. All members are required to read, understand, and abide by these rules and to read all administrative announcements relating to Lilymud rules. Failure to stay up-to-date with the current set of rules is not an excuse to break them. As always, if there are any questions, please feel free to contact any of the staff members.
Let's all have fun here, okay?