I am not trying to lay down draconian laws - I am merely trying to make everyone aware of the rules so there is no question why we may close or delete an offending thread in the future.
Rules suck, but hopefully these are obvious enough to make sense to us all. I should also note that the following posts are encouraged:
The Moderators will use this post as a guideline in their actions, as will I. These rules may be altered at any time for any reason, etc. etc., Habius Corpus, Hakuna Matada, E. Pluribus Unum and so-on...
You may not have more than one user IDIf we discover that you have more than one user ID, all but the oldest will be disabled. In the case of an honest mistake, please email me and I'll take care of it.
Do not let others post with your user IDIf we discover that you are allowing other people to post using your username, then you risk both parties being banned. Don't do it. Don't give other people your password.
You must have a valid email address in your profileIf you do not have a valid email address in your profile, then your account will be disabled. Your email address does not need to be publicly visible, but it must be valid.
Avatars should not be larger than 250x250 pixels in sizeLarger avatars cause the forum to become unreadable on many screens.
Breeders may not be endorsed or denouncedNewf Net does not endorse or denounce any breeders. Users are not allowed to endorse or denounce any breeder. Breeders can be listed with dog names. Breeders are free to identify themselves, but they are not to use Newf Net as a form of advertisement for litters of puppies. Breeders are encouraged to help educate the membership on the wonders AND pitfalls of breeding.
The following list of content will not be tolerated and may be closed or deleted at our discretion:
Advertising anythingAdvertising anything is forbidden except dog shows and items in the for sale section (no animals). When in doubt, ask a Mod before posting. This site supports itself without advertising and I don't want ads in any way shape or form.
FundraisingIn general you may not solicit funds. This includes, but is not limited to; animal surgeries, rescue organizations, raffles, or links to other sites doing the same. Any special project (calendars, cookbooks, etc) must be approved by myself & the Mods before being talked about on the forums. Any profit from money raised must be donated to a NCA approved regional rescue organization & not for the benefit of one particular dog/person (feel free to contact me privately if you want the raised funds to go elsewhere. For example, the Red Cross after Katrina.) The only exception to this rule is using Newf Net as a means to collect admission fees to cover the overhead costs for Newf Net get-togethers.
Newf (or any animal) "To a good home" or "for sale" postingsI know we all want to do the right thing. What you may not realize is that we have no control over who sees your post. There are people out there who want big dogs for scientific experimentation, dog fights, sex (ick), and other things too horrible to imagine. This is the Internet - we have no idea who's reading your post.
Rescue posts that point to other sites such as "petfinder.org" are allowed. Newf.net should not be the primary source of information for a rescue. Links to NCA rescue organizations websites are preferred.
Advertisements for or endorsements of any breeder or private rescue organizationThere are many breeders on this board, and the board is a better place because of their insight and experience. Breeders are absolutely welcome, but endorsements of them are not. "I got my pup from GAD and couldn't be happier" is an endorsement. Such posts will be removed.
Please note that showing a dog's pedigree is not advertising a breeder. Nor is showing a dogs full title. Understand that the spirit of the law is important here. If we feel that you're intentionally posting your dogs full name in order to endorse a breeder, you may be in violation of this rule.
Open criticism of breeders is not permitted either, since it can affect their business.
Puppy PicturesBreeders may post pictures of litters and are encouraged to do so - especially with stories about the trials and tribulations of breeding. Using puppy pictures as a means of advertising puppies for sale will result in the deletion of the thread. Before posting such pictures, please ensure that all of the pictured puppies are spoken for. See the section on advertising for more detail.
Foul language of any kindSelf explanatory - don't swear or use foul language (in any language)
Personal attacks of any kindThis seems to be what gets a lot of people in trouble. To be clear, don't attack other people. Attacks include the obvious, as well as things like: "You'll be sorry", "you suck", "you're an idiot", "you haven't got a clue" and so-on. Look up "ad-hominem" and you'll learn what's not allowed.
This is not to say that you can't have fun with your friends. Many of us have known each other for years & the good natured insults often are flying around. As long as they are given/received in the spirit intended there is no problem. Any complaints though will be looked at very closely.
Endorsement of or planning of any illegal activity (even in jest)Even though you hate the puppy-mill down the street, do NOT talk about sneaking in and letting all the dogs out. I don't care how good the intentions are - if you're endorsing or planning illegal acts, you are breaking the rules. Note that just because you believe something is morally wrong, you should not assume it is illegal. Performing an illegal act in order to prevent an illegal act is still an illegal act.
Harassing anyone in any way.Do not harass anyone in any way. This includes, but is not limited to postings, PMs, email, regular mail, UPS or whatever. Your definition of harassment and ours may differ, so be prepared. For example, sending 50 emails that say "I love you" is harassment as much as 50 emails saying "I hate you" is.
If someone does something to you that you don't like, and you constantly demand retribution, then you are harassing them, even though they wronged you first. This has happened more times than I can count. Please, don't do it.
Making slanderous or libelous comments about anyone in any way.Slander is defamation by spoken word. Libel is defamation by written word. Neither is permitted. That being said, just because you believe something is libelous, doesn't mean that it is. "you suck" is not libelous (it is an opinion). "You should sell dogs to pet stores" is not libelous (it is a suggestion). "You DID sell dogs to pet stores" is potentially libelous (assuming you never sold dogs to pet stores).
Threatening anyone in any way.Please, read this and understand, that "in any way", means "in any way". If you threaten to sue someone, then you are threatening them!
Repeatedly posting topics which get locked (i.e. stirring the pot or intentionally causing trouble).This does not mean two locked posts in a row (but it might). It means don't be a troublemaker. If a post gets removed, don't post a "why did my post get removed?" thread - email or PM the Mods or me instead. Also don't expect an instant PM to you explaining the removal. It could be that your offending post ignited a flame war that they are busy putting out. If after a reasonable amount of time you haven't heard from a Mod, email me.
Poking the tigerThe Mods do a LOT of work to keep this place running as well as it does. They deserve all the credit. If you make their lives miserable, I get cranky. If you post publicly about your problems with the Mods or me, you're poking the tiger. The Mods are here to help. You may not always like what they say or do, and if you don't, I recommend that you a) take it up with them in private, or b) take it up with me in private. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to use it at any time. I am a very calm and level headed person. If you have a complaint with me, I suggest that you bring it to me (or the Mods), in a calm and logical fashion. If you attack me, you will lose credibility and significantly lower your chances of me taking you seriously.
Perception is realityIf you are following the letter of the law yet it is perceived that you are completely ignoring the spirit of the law it will be treated as breaking the letter of the law. For example: as a breeder you can't post puppy litter pictures until all of them are gone to their new homes. But by some amazing coincidence, the only time you ever post pictures of old litters is when you just happen to have a new batch of puppies available. You might be able to make a valid argument, but the perception is that you are advertising your puppies.
One or more of the following things will happen to you if you break the rules:
Your post may be removed or edited.The Mods or I may edit your post to remove the offending item, or we may remove the post entirely. Entire threads may be removed as well. Threads that are removed are copied to the Mod's forum for archival purposes.
You may be temporarily bannedTemporary banishment is generally one week, though the time can be anything we wish.
You may be permanently bannedPermanent banishment is forever. This is the most extreme form of punishment available, and it is not done lightly. In the first seven years of Newf Net - only three people have ever been permanently banned. We'd like to keep that low average.
It is possible to receive more than one "time out" before being permanently banned. However each successive one will probably be longer than any prior ones, especially if they happen in a short amount of time.
These are rare enough that everything is handled on a case by case basis. I try to be fair but that does not mean that the same offense by two different people will be handled exactly the same. By the time things reach this level there are many other factors that are considered also.
Generally you will be given one warning. Additional misconduct will be considered grounds for banishment and in some cases forwarding of the collected information to the proper authorities.
All decisions regarding banishment will be mine alone, though I take the advice of the Mods very seriously.
This is my sandbox. If you don't like these rules, then you are free to go elsewhere. There are plenty of Newf forums out there which have spun off of Newf-Net by disgruntled former members. Remember - this is my board and my rules. You are my guest and are expected to act accordingly. All rules will be enforced at my discretion.
Understand that the rules are here in the interest of fairness. This in no way means I need to be fair. Also understand that I reserve the right to ban anyone at any time for any reason. I can lock or delete posts for any reason. I support my Moderators and will believe them first in all cases. If you have a gripe about them - bring it to me. Again, my email address is email@example.com.
The means to accomplish any of the above will be irrelevant in my decision. This includes email, Private Message, phone or posting on the board itself. In the case of phone harassment or harassment via resources outside of Newf-Net, police reports will be required by the reporting party. I will not take the word of any member(s) against another member. I will generally not act without proof. I will however act as I see fit.
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