BMW MOA FAQ

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Posting Guidelines

v1.15 - Updated April 20, 2012

I. User Conduct and Posting Policy

The BMW MOA Forum is a service extended to you by our private motorcycling club. The goal is to improve the membership experience through increased communication, fellowship, and inclusiveness. It is a place for our community to come together.

Here we share roads and rides, talk about upcoming events, give advice on tech issues, even just shoot the breeze on topics not even related to motorcycles. But it is done in a civil manner with respect to the other participants.

OK, the above is vague. That's intentional. If we tried to create an explicit list, it would stretch on to infinity. We'd rather folks rely on their common sense. Because many of us have bosses, spouses, even kids looking over our shoulders as we read the forums, think of them as your audience. That said, it never hurts to make a few things quite plain. The following are explicitly forbidden:

  1. Flaming/personal attacks. Just don't do it. Clever quips and snappy retorts are part of any conversation; we mean the ill-intended, vicious personal attack.
  2. Vulgar language, photos or links. We are all adults here and you know right from wrong. Language similar to PG-13 movies is generally acceptable, but don't push this boundary. Soft core porn and harsh language for shock value are not allowed.
  3. Trolling and Baiting. Trolling is intentionally posting inflammatory subject matter, then arguing just for "fun." Baiting is pushing someone's buttons to incite them to flame.
  4. Creating a hostile environment. Our membership is a diverse community in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Items offensive to, or that create an unfriendly environment for various people will be removed by the moderators with an explanation.
  5. SPAM. Except in the Member Opportunities area, creating self-promotional or shill posts consisting solely of advertisements, links, or other commercial content is prohibited.
    Member Opportunities is a forum area where members can inform the general membership about events, services or products that may be of interest to the community because they are BMW, motorcycle or BMW MOA member related. Consider this to be like a yellow pages ad. It is not intended as a space for repetitive posting or advertising of monthly, weekly or daily events, nor for classified ads (please use the Flea Market). Members will be limited to single threads concerning one topic; multiple posts on the same general topic will be deleted. This content will be handled at the discretion of the moderation team.
  6. For Sale / Wanted to Buy. As an extension of spamming, posting about items for sale or looking to buy items from other members is forbidden. The Flea Market is the place for that or use Private Messages with other members to conduct business. In addition, posts calling out items in the Flea Market or other on-line markets is forbidden.

In all of the above cases, our forum moderators will use their best judgment and will handle problems with warnings, suspensions, etc., as laid out in the "Concerns and Complaints" section.

Code of Conduct

The code of conduct began as a long list of bad behaviors. Instead, the basic rule of the road is Don't Be A Jerk. It is simple and easy to remember. If your aim is to irritate, to insult, to shock or just generally annoy — please find some other sand box to play in (and there are lots!)

Banned Topics

Over the years (and many winters) we've pretty much been able to identify some things that inevitably start flame wars, breed ill will, and just in general make people act in ways they'd never have believed themselves capable (and yes, that is meant in the bad way.) Below are a few of these topics:

  1. Religion
  2. Abortion
  3. Politics
  4. Firearms

These are banned as topics of discussion on the forum. We're not trying to prevent you from wishing someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah; we're trying to prevent the angry, useless flaming that inevitably arises when these topics are "discussed". Don't even think of making an off the cuff remark about someone's politics or religion.

Moderation, Enforcement and Management of Threads

The moderators for each forum area will be the arbiters of this code. They have been chosen because they have good judgment and are expected to exercise it to maintain the forums as an inclusive experience that fosters community.

Cause for Editing a Post

We don't edit posts, other than fixing typos or adding bike model information in the thread/post title, or adding/changing tags. We do these things because either forum software doesn't allow the poster to do it themselves, or so threads will be able to be found in a forum search. Otherwise, if it is bad enough to violate these guidelines we'll just delete it.

Cause for Editing a Poll

Again — we don't edit. The only exception is if the poll owner requests that a moderator add a choice to the poll that they forgot to add prior to submitting it. This is done at the moderator's discretion.

Cause for Deleting a Post

Posts that violate these guidelines will be deleted. Generally, the moderators will try to contact the author and get them to change their posting, but if that doesn't happen in a short time or the posting is particularly egregious, it will be summarily deleted.

Cause for Deleting a Thread or a Poll

If, in a moderator's judgment, a thread violates the posting guidelines it will be removed. A moderator may also delete a thread when requested by the original poster (OP). Consideration of subsequent posts in the thread will be taken.

Sig Lines and Other Publicly Visible Info

To prevent sig lines from occupying large amounts of screen space, a sig line may contain a maximum of 4 lines, including line spaces, and 300 characters. You are welcome to include links, format it as you like and change the font, color and size of text. We are limiting the maximum text size to 3 (the default size is 2). You cannot embed images or objects from the internet (eg, YouTube video frames), but you can link to them.

The content of sig lines is governed by the general site guidelines (so no personal attacks, obscenities, political statements, SPAM, religion, etc.) These rules also apply to other ephemera such as avatars, location info, custom user title and any other fields visible with postings or in the public profile area.

Concerns and Complaints

Moderator actions are final, and moderators are not to be harassed either publicly or via PM. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly by a moderator, then your course of action is to bring the issue to the attention of the Forum Liaison at liaison@bmwmoa.org. It will help to have a complete explanation of your thoughts with links to specific threads and posts, so that the liaison can get an understanding of your side of the issue.

If you see a posting that you feel is inappropriate and want to bring it to the moderation team's attention, please do not try to do this by posting in the thread. Instead, at the bottom left of every posting is a blue exclamation mark . Click on this button and write a short statement indicating the problem you perceive with the post. The button is also available in the private message (PM) system, and you can report unwanted PMs to the moderators, too. The moderation team will receive and review your report. Please have some patience, as the moderators are volunteers and it may take a while before they have an opportunity to check it out.

II. Suspension of Posting Privileges

We don't take suspending posting privileges lightly, but we are also serious about maintaining a friendly and fraternal atmosphere on the forum. If a user threatens that with violations of these posting guidelines, they may have their posting privileges suspended.

The forum software provides a facility called infractions. The basic idea is that moderators can issue an infraction against a user that violates the posting guidelines. Infractions build up points, and when the point total reaches certain levels, the user is automatically banned. The length of time a ban lasts depends on how many points the user has acquired. The points also expire after a while, so a user's point total will tend to return to zero.

You can view your own history and status by clicking on the User CP link at the top of every forum page. Only you and the moderators can see this information.

It is possible to become permanently banned from the forum when enough points are acquired in a short enough period. The user will remain banned until such a time as the BMW MOA Board of Directors, acting on a petition by the banned user for the probationary return of posting privileges, approves of the probationary lifting of the suspension.

The point totals that lead to banning, and the length of a ban, are subject to occasional revision. Currently, they are:

Point TotalLength of Ban
10 Points2 Days
13 Points7 Days
16 Points2 Weeks
18 Points1 Month
20 Points3 Months
25 PointsPermanent

Moderators have complete freedom to assign points and their expiration length. Typically, they are assigned according to perceived severity of the infraction, between 2 and 5 points, lasting for 1-2 months. Users with a history of infractions or who egregiously violate the guidelines can receive a greater number of points with longer expiration times. All moderation actions are final, subject to review by the Forum Liaison.

III. Who is Behind the Curtain

Moderators

The BMW MOA Forums are run by a volunteer staff. These volunteers often devote a significant number of hours a week to ensure that the forums continue to be the friendly community that we've built since 1997. Their job is to keep the discussion inside the lines. They do not always read every single post, so if you see something that violates our guidelines, please report the post (see Concerns and Complaints, above).

Please feel free to contact any moderator at any time with any questions — please remember though that all questions, comments or complaints involving a moderator's actions should be directed to the Forum Liaison. You can find all of the moderators at the Forum Leaders list.

Qualifications

The Forum Liaison chooses the moderators. Important qualities are a thick skin, a strong sense of fairness, an even keel, the ability to apply the posting guidelines fairly and consistently, and act in the best interest of the BMW MOA.

Selection / Nomination Process

Anyone can nominate themselves or others, just send a note to the Forum Liaison. The Liaison will conduct an informal interview and when there is an opening, the pool of candidates will be reviewed and position filled. The requirements of the job are not insignificant and openings for new moderators, while not common, are not rare either.

Moderator Code of Conduct

Moderators must be fair, impartial and consistent in the application of the posting guidelines. Just as users must use their common sense, moderators must rely on their good judgment. As always, any user who believes a moderator's action (or lack thereof) is either not sufficient or is too harsh should contact the Forum Liaison at liaison@bmwmoa.org or the BMW MOA Executive Director Bob Aldridge at bob@bmwmoa.org (it will help to have a complete explanation of your thoughts with links to specific threads and posts.)

The Forum Liaison

The Forum Liaison is a volunteer chosen by the BMW MOA Board of Directors for a one year term from April to April. The Liaison is tasked with managing the BMW MOA Forums. This person chooses and manages the forum moderators, updates and manages the Terms of Service, helps the Forum Administrator keep the nuts and bolts from coming loose, and generally is the go-to for ensuring the BMW MOA forums are a place to which we all want to keep coming back. The liaison can be reached at liaison@bmwmoa.org.

Your Forum Moderation Team

The BMW MOA Forums are run by a volunteer staff. These volunteers often devote a significant number of hours a week to ensure that the forums are up and running and continue to be the friendly community that we've built since 1997. Their job is to keep the discussion inside the lines. They do not always read every single post, so if you see something that violates our rules or guidelines, please report the post. There is a "report post" button on the left-hand side of the screen that will ask you to explain the problem and it will email the moderator immediately.

Click here to see a current list of Moderators.

This page is also available from the "View Forum Leaders" link at the bottom of the forum main page. You can also see who the moderators are for a particular subforum by looking at the bottom of that subforum's main page.

In addition to these moderators, several people, including paid staff, keep the forum running smoothly. They include:

Darryl Richman - DarrylRi
Forum Liaison

Kurt Schrader - 20774
Forum Admin

Scott Conary - Knary
Site Admin and the MOA's Information Architect (web guy)

User Maintenance

General Forum Usage

Reading and Posting Messages

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