( Excerpting from the old guidelines )
What makes a bad post to Toledo Talk?
Posting a link to your homepage and asking for feedback is a bad post. Self-promotion isn't what this site is about. Self promotion can be "earned." If you consistently post thought-provoking comments or topics on the site, people will click on your name to know you better. On the profile page, you can put your own URL and people can check that out.
If your topic or comment is better served by referring to information on your personal website, that's okay.
What about making posts to the front page to sell things? No.
Flagrant self-promotion by pretending to be someone else will result in the account being deactivated.
A new front page posting that is a negative attack against another Toledo Talk user will not be tolerated. We get enough of that in comments. But making the attack on another user the main subject of a new thread will result in the poster's account being deactivated.
Creating multiple accounts and pretending to be different people will result in all of the user's known accounts being deactivated.
And lastly, don't troll, which means posting inflammatory messages for the sole purpose of baiting others to argue the points until blue in the face. People "troll" for kicks and to destroy conversations and communites. Intelligent discussion and debate is preferred.
Follow the golden rule, treat others' opinions with the same respect that you would like to be treated.
Failure to follow these guidelines may result in your posts being deleted, your posting rights revoked, or your account banned. If you have any questions, contact the admin.
Referencing Other Work
An external content creator would be something outside of ToledoTalk.com.
When including content from an external publisher in your post, excerpt the content. Do not copy and paste the entire content from an external source unless it's your own. It's lazy and and a copyright violation to copy and paste everything from another source. Take a couple extra minutes to excerpt the other article's main points. And in your post, provide a link back to the source.
If an entire article is copy and pasted to start a new thread, the thread creator will be asked to edit the thread and only excerpt the source's content. If the thread creator fails to comply within a reasonable amount of time, the thread will be deleted, regardless of how many comments have been added. The admin account will not excerpt the article for another user.
If the entire external article was posted as a comment, the comment will be deleted. Users cannot edit their comments here.
Copying all of a piece of original content created within Toledo Talk to be used in another Toledo Talk post is permitted. At times, users will copy all of another user's comment to be used in a new comment, and that's permitted, provided the other user's comment is original work.
ToledoTalk.com is a free speech zone.
Some people think they should be allowed to post whatever they want on a message board that's owned and funded by someone else. And if these users are denied the ability to post whatever and however they want, then they believe the site owner is engaged in censorship. That's all wrong thinking.
I'll let other Toledo Talk users explain how it works.
photodan said in April 2005:
"jr has every right to make this site as closed or even as censored as he wants it to be. If he decided that the word, "it" was not allowed to be posted then that is his right. This is not free speech. We are only allowed to post here at jr's whim since he's the one paying for it. He owns the space we are scrawling upon."
psyche777 said in June 2005:
"There is no such thing as free speech on message boards -- they are controlled by those who own them. So unless you own your own? pretty much have to play by whatever rules exist."
ToledoTalk.com is an equal rights zone.
September 2009 comment in a thread that technically violated these posting guidelines:
I'll admit to a favorable bias toward long-time, active contributors. More leeway exists for those gold members. If a new user had made a similar post, the thread probably would been removed.
Toledo Talk supports posting with an anonymous handle. More thoughts on the subject. Some excerpts:
About anonymous postings, I think it's simple. It's a matter of choice and freedom, and the responsibility belongs to the reader and not the poster. If you don't like anonymous postings, then you have the freedom of choice to ignore such postings. You have the freedom to move on. If user A wants to post his or her real name, place of employment, job title, shoe size, etc., that's user A's business.
Maybe over time as people get more comfortable with posting on the Web, users will share their real identities. But let that happen naturally. Don't force the issue.
(Culling comments from past threads to explain how political discussions are handled at Toledo Talk.)
Unfortunately, the vast majority of political threads are NOT locally-focused, which is bizarre. The Toledo area has plenty of political issues to discuss.
For most of the new threads that are created, the admin assigns them to a forum. That's because when users create a new thread, the site does not require users to choose a forum name. But users can assign a thread to a forum creating the thread. Just go to the bottom of the thread post to find the select-pulldown for the forum choices. Some users do this, which is great. But users are not required to perform this task. The admin will eventually assign the threads to a forum. But one exception exists.
If it's an political thread, then the thread-creator needs to assign the thread to one of two forums:
Local-politics threads will remain on the front page of the site, but the text on the home page will be displayed in a smaller font, and the text color will be light gray. Locally-focused political threads are allowed, but they are slightly de-emphasized.
If the thread is not locally-focused, then the thread must be assigned to the politics forum. Once assigned to the politics forum, the thread is removed from the home page.
Non-locally focused political threads get moved off the front page, and they can be viewed at:
- clicking on the /p/ link in the narrow column on the home page.
- clicking on forums at the top of the site, and then clicking on politics
Why the fuss? Because in the summer of 2010, users requested political threads be removed from the site's home page.
In the spring of 2012, local-politics forum was created. Some recent local politics threads were moved into this new forum. The local politics threads remain on the front page, but the thread text is displayed in light gray, all lowercase, and with a slightly smaller font size.
Political discussions are permitted, but they're somewhat de-emphasized. If that causes fewer political discussions, then the design changes are working. But again, political discussions have not been outlawed. The political brawlers have to work around the minor design and site rule "inconveniences." I assume that's not a problem for the rough and tumble political talkers.
Practice a little comment moderation or restraint. If it's a thread in the politics forum, then knock yourselves out. I have no problem with that. But we don't need every thread hijacked to be a political discussion. Leave politics out of non-political threads. If you need to introduce politics, then simply start a new thread and move it to the politics or local-politics forums.
The political fanatics will not ride roughshod over this site. And the idea that national political issues will affect us locally does not apply here. Non-local political threads will be hidden from the front page. Only true political topics will remain on the front page.
Other explanations in old comments:
March 2011 comment
The rabid political comments in this non-political thread were derailing the thread. In my opinion, those comments were troll-like, and that violates the posting guidelines. Again, take it to the politics forum. This should be an easy concept for intelligent people to grasp.
Another March 2011 comment
It's interesting how a few politically-charged users believe their views are being squashed in this thread, but they see no problem with their hijacking of this thread, which is a form of squashing a discussion. They whine about my admin actions with this thread, but they post derailing comments, which are rude to users who are interested in the non-political aspects of this thread. Sounds like the political bullies want it all their way, and when it doesn't happen, they throw a hissy fit. I would think political brawlers would be tougher than that.
Users must assign non-local political threads to the politics forum. Gaming the system will elicit a warning from admin, and continual gaming will mean the threads get deleted and/or the user's account deactivated. Gaming could mean not assigning such threads to the politics forum and allowing them to remain on the front page for maximum views until the admin moves it. Gaming could mean assigning the politics thread to another forum that allows it to remain on the front page. Users know better, so simply follow the rules.