The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum’s community area (message board, social network, special interest groups, wiki, Discord chat, web site, blogs, etc.) is not a democracy, at best it is a benevolent dictatorship. The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum’s site hosts have set the rules below for The Cauldron’s community areas. Make sure you are familiar with them. Read them daily to remind yourself of them if you have to, because the hosts have given the community’s staff the power to limit or deny access to those who insist on violating them.
Executive Rules Summary
Many people complain that our rules and guidelines are very long. Here is an executive summary of our rules that will work for 90% of the people 90% of the time.
- Obey US Law in all activity on The Cauldron.
- Do not be a jackass. Do not behave in a manner the staff or hosts might consider obnoxious (e.g. making personal attacks, arguing mod calls, advertising without approval, trying to moderate other members, don’t use gratuitous obscenities or slur words, etc.)
- Post legibly and accessibly (e.g. use short paragraphs separated by blank lines, don’t write in “netspeak”, quote a small part of the message you are replying to, use standard English not jargon, etc.)
- You permanently and irrevocably grant The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum the right to use anything you post. (There are a few partial exceptions to this explained in the main rules, but this applies the the vast majority of the board.)
Our detailed rules and guidelines really just expand on these obvious basics. You still need to read the full rules, however — as those full rules are the rules staff enforces.
THE “DO NOT” RULES:
- DO NOT make personal attacks (name calling, hostile remarks, accusations, etc.) anywhere in our community (including posts, personal messages, reputation comments, etc.). In discussion, attack ideas and opinions, not the people who hold them. Note that an attack on your ideas and beliefs is not considered a personal attack under our rules even if you identify so closely with your beliefs and ideas that you personally consider an attack on those beliefs or ideas to be an attack on you.
- DO NOT remove the quote bbcode inserted into your reply by the “Reply with Quote” button. You may (and should) delete portions of the quoted text not relevant to your reply, but the quote bbcode itself must remain intact under most circumstances as this inserts links and text that helps others follow the flow of conversation. Possible exceptions and specifics are discussed in our Quoting Guidelines.
- DO NOT make blanket condemnations of religions, cultures, peoples, or classes/categories of people.
- DO NOT post or attach content that is libelous, defamatory, pornographic, harassing, threatening, or hateful on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, etc.
- DO NOT post advertisements or event announcements (commercial or non-commercial) without obtaining prior approval for the specific item from a Host or Senior Staff member. (See our Advertising Guidelines for more details. Note that all violations of these guidelines are considered “spamming”. Spam will be deleted and spammers will be banned immediately.
- DO NOT post more than a sentence or two of copyrighted material without obtaining specific permission from the current copyright owner to post the material on The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum and posting that permission with the copyrighted material. Link to the material instead. (See our Copyright Guidelines for more information).
- DO NOT use uncommon specialist jargon (technical, political, social justice, etc.) without explaining it in in plain language or providing a link to a place on the web where it is neutrally defined. Be especially careful of jargon, even commonly known jargon, that has a very different meaning in common usage (e.g. The word “theory” is commonly known science jargon. However, in science a “theory” is “a well established and proven idea” where a “theory” in common usage is more like “my best guess”).
- DO NOT argue with, comment on, complain about, criticize, or otherwise discuss staff decisions on rules issues in public in Cauldron community areas. If you think a decision that directly affects you is incorrect, you may make an appeal in private in accordance with our Moderation Appeal Guidelines.
- DO NOT attempt to moderate other members (i.e. tell them how to behave on the board). Leave the moderating to the forum staff and hosts. If you believe a forum post violates the rules in a major way, you may bring that post to the attention of the forum staff by reporting that message with the “Report to moderator” link. You can bring non-forum problems to the attention of staff by emailing a staff member via their profile.
- DO NOT tell other members not to post to you. You can put non-staff members on “ignore” if you do not wish to read their posts.
- DO NOT register multiple accounts without permission from the hosts.
- DO NOT impersonate other members or otherwise pretend to be someone you are not.
- DO NOT use community facilities of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum to violate US criminal or civil law.
THE “DO” RULES:
- DO remember to use the “Reply/Quote” button even when using the quick reply feature as this inserts links and text that helps others follow the flow of conversation.
- DO edit quoted material in your replies to the minimum needed.
- DO write in a “normal writing” style. Capitalize the first word of your sentences. Use proper punctuation. Write in short paragraphs and place a blank line between paragraphs (hit return twice). Please do not WRITE IN ALL CAPITALS, in eLiTe LeTtErS, or in odd fonts and colors. Please do not use “Netspeak” (e.g. R U Wiccan) as our community areas are not a cell phone. See our Message Posting Guidelines for more information.
- DO be tolerant of religions and opinions that differ from your own. You do not have to agree with them or support them, but you must be tolerant of those who express them. Others have as much right to hold and express their views as you do to hold and express yours.
- DO follow our Avatar and Signature Guidelines.
- DO try to post new topics on the correct board.
- DO remember that other members of The Cauldron are real people just like you with rights and feelings — treat them as real people even when engaged in heated debate.
- DO remember that everyone has different experiences in life and others may experience similar things in ways very different from how you experienced them. This means that they will have different understandings of things based on their personal experiences, traits, and history, and may well have information or perspective that you lack — and vice-versa.
- DO remember that you are not your opinions and beliefs. An attack on your opinions and beliefs in debate is not an attack on you. If attacks on your opinions and beliefs seem like personal attacks to you, you will probably want to bow out of topics that turn into heated discussions or debates.
- DO try to avoid posting already posted information in “pile-ons.” If you see a thread where someone has posted obvious incorrect information on hot button issues and there are a lot of posts after that message, please read ahead before posting to avoid posting the 20th reply with basically the same information (as this tends to make the member with the incorrect information think people are ganging up on them).
- DO realize that some boards have special rules that apply only to that board and follow those rules when posting on that board — such rules will be in a clearly labeled sticky post on the board they apply to.
- DO follow instructions/suggestions from staff members and hosts about how to post and/or behave on The Cauldron (quoting, formatting messages, etc.). Staff members have no interest in hearing why you would rather not do it the standard TC way.
- DO expect to be asked for sources to support any unusual factual claims you may make. If you chose to back those claims with poor sources (wikipedia and other encyclopedias, dictionaries, popular press books written by non-experts, out-of-date academic books, etc.), do not be surprised when they are not considered convincing, let alone authoritative.
DON’T BE ANNOYING:
Please do not engage in annoying or rude behavior in the community areas. Annoying and rude behavior includes (but is not limited to):
- Editing your messages to significantly change the content after a message can reasonably be assumed to have been read by others (which is 2 or 3 minutes after posting). This is particularly true if the message has already been replied to.
- Posting the same message to multiple topics or boards.
- Trolling (posting material just to stir up trouble or start flame wars)
- Proselytizing for any religion (whether Pagan or not).
- Making overly broad “All Pagans believe…” or “All Pagans do…” or “Everyone knows…” type statements. Except in the most trivial cases (e.g. “All Living Pagans need to drink water”), such claims are almost always false.
- Demanding that others prove your claims wrong instead of supporting those claims with evidence they are correct.
- Attacking a post based on typos, poor spelling, poor grammar, or failure to know/remember your personal details, instead of debating its content. Our message board is more akin to a spoken conversation with people from many countries than it is to a term paper. Posting solely to respond to terminology you disapprove of (as opposed to terminology that is factually incorrect) is a borderline violation of this rule.
- Oversharing personal details — posting the intimate details of your life in inappropriate threads.
- Using gratuitous offensive language. We are a PG-13 forum.
- Using an offensive or inappropriate username, name, custom title, avatar, signature, etc.
- Failing to properly attribute quoted sources.
- Having your account set to a false or out of date email address.
THE “MISCELLANEOUS” RULES:
- This board is a private entity not a public service. If you abuse the privilege of posting here, the Hosts reserve the right to revoke or otherwise limit your privileges here.
- The Hosts and Staff try to be aware of members who are in the habit of pushing up against the edges of the rules without violating them. Members whose posts repeatedly push these limits, especially in ways that cause difficulties, may be officially warned for their pattern of behavior.
- Hacking or attempting to hack any part of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum will result in an immediate and permanent ban and the attempt will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
- The Senior Staff and Hosts reserve the right to moderate discussions, even if there are no rules violations, to preserve the quality of the discussion — this includes imposing special rules on the discussion or asking unduly upset (or unruly) members to leave the discussion.
- Overlooked rules violations do not set a precedent. The fact that a violation was accidentally overlooked does not mean it is suddenly okay to violate that rule.
- The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum is a discussion and debate board devoted to critical thinking. Beliefs and ideas that may be accepted with little question on some other boards will likely be strongly questioned here. While we ask our more experienced members to be polite in refuting incorrect information and dodgy ideas, The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum is devoted to critical thinking, so expect to see incorrect information and ideas mercilessly (and often bluntly) shot down and be aware that if there are likely mundane explanations for something, they are going to preferred to supernatural explanations. If this is unacceptable to you, chances are that this forum is not the message board for you.
- We do not delete accounts, so please do not ask to have your account deleted. Accounts are never deleted as doing so would completely disrupt every topic the account holder ever participated in. If you wish to leave the board, just go to your profile and turn off all your board and topic subscriptions and set your account to block email from users and announcements.
RIGHTS TO CONTENT POSTED TO COMMUNITY AREAS:
By posting content to The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum’s message board or other community areas (or by submitting material directly by email or other means for the Cauldron’s web site or newsletter), you are irrevocably authorizing the royalty-free use of that content (or edited material taken from that content) in The Cauldron’s web sites, community areas, newsletters, mailing lists, announcement areas, blogs, ebooks, and other online venues.
There are two limited exceptions to this rule:
1) Content in wiki-like sections of our forum(s) and web site(s) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Pages where this is true will have a Creative Commons license note.
2) Content posted to certain specially designated closed-membership, application-only boards (examples: for shared intimate spiritual experiences, for personal health concerns, for creative writing, etc.). Posts made to certain such boards will not be used by the owners or staff of The Cauldron outside of the specific board in which it is posted without permission of the poster. Areas of The Cauldron where this is true will have this fact noted in a pinned post made by a Co-Host. Only the Co-Hosts have the authority to designate an area as subject to this exception.
CONSEQUENCES OF COMMUNITY RULE VIOLATIONS
Standard consequences for violating community rules include:
- Public “Mod Hat On” Warning issued by a Staff Member
- Editing or deletion of the offending post
- Being put on “post moderation” (a staff member has to approve each of your posts before they appear on the board)
- Being gagged (unable to post) for a period of time
- Being banned from community areas for a period of time
- Loss of privileges to use certain community areas or features
- Permanent ban
With the approval of a Host, other consequences are possible in specific situations.