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Forum Rules - You must read(Updated!)

DISCLAIMER

You agree to NOT use this site or its affiliated sites, services you may have access to as a result of being a member here (subscriber or otherwise), to post items (images, textual material, etc.) that are pornographic in nature, illegal in the United States and/or the country you reside in, support or encourage illegal activities (e.g., terrorism), advertise for your own personal profit, or send unsolicited messages (i.e. SPAM) to members or non-members.

AND

You agree that if any clause or component of this document is found to not be legally binding in a court of law of proper jurisdiction then the remainder of this document shall remain fully binding and in full force.

AND

You agree to NOT hold Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (makers of the forum software), uspoliticsonline.com, sites affiliated with uspoliticsonline.com, its administrators, its moderators, others associated with its operation, and its owners liable for any and all of the following (in whole or in part):
Personal insults/attacks by other members.
The content posted by other members, whether directed at you personally or a label/classification you associate with. This includes remarks you consider to be libelous or slanderous in any way.
Any financial or time loss due to your participation here or as a result of something you read at this site, including posts/PMs by other members and feature(s)/software available at the domain uspoliticsonline.com.
The dissemination of any personal information about you as a result of either your negligence (e.g. staying logged into a computer that others have access to) or willingness to post such information on a public and or private forum, private message or chat box. This includes using your real name or other details that could allow other members and/or the general public to determine your true identity. You are prohibited from using your real name on these forums, either as your username or in posts / PMs you write.
FORUM RULES, IN ADDITION TO THE DISCLAIMER

1. These rules apply to all sections of USPOL, including public and private forums, blogs, and visitor messages.

2. You cannot attack and/or personally insult someone. You cannot bait other forum members; this includes referring to posters by derogatory terms. Please, remain courteous and respectful to all forum members at all times. You agree to take responsibility for reporting such posts when you come across them. Please, use the ignore feature if need be. Any member who intentionally and continually posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response, or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, may be regarded as a “troll” by staff, and have their account suspended or banned.

3. You cannot harass (sexually or otherwise) other members. This includes malicious, slanderous, or defamatory comments. If you are not sure if something you write is inappropriate or not then don't say it. Err on the side of caution.

4. Copying and Pasting Articles, and Starting New Threads. You cannot simply cut and paste in posts or when starting threads. You MUST provide the identifying information (source, author, date, and URL). You must also offer some original thoughts along with the cut and paste. You may copy and paste an excerpt or series of excerpts from the article. Excerpts really shouldn’t be more then a paragraph or two. Furthermore, if you use images or other copyrighted material in your posts or signature you must have permission of the copyright holder unless you know for a fact that the image is in the public domain. In addition:
a. It must include the identifying information; e.g., where available, the author, the publication, the date, the URL.
b. The member must offer some context, including: How did you hear of this article? What is your opinion? Why is it important to you? Why should it be important to forum readers? The more context you provide, the more you assist others in gauging the excerpted information's significance.
c. You may copy and paste an excerpt or series of excerpts, not the whole thing or even the majority of the whole thing to encourage people to read the entire article.
A violation of any of the above will result in the deletion or closing of the post or thread and could earn you a warning or suspension. If you have any questions concering any of the above please PM a moderator and we will be happy to clarify.

5. You cannot post the same thing in multiple forums. You must not open similar threads about the same or a similar topic. You cannot spam the board or send unsolicited messages to members via PM, email or any other means.

6. Do not post off-topic. You cannot derail a thread with off topic posts.

7. You cannot shout in posts. This includes posting in all CAPS, bold, lIkE tHiS, and extra large font. Posts should also be one color, although you may use an additional color for highlighting ideas you wish to address.

8. You may not alter quotes in a way that misrepresents what was originally said.

9. Multiple accounts are not allowed. If you are found to have more than one account all accounts will be permanently terminated.

10. You cannot have a user name, avatar, signature, or post images that are deliberately offensive. That includes the display of overly explicit or graphic images that may not be suitable for minors.

11. Signatures can not have more than three lines of text, with a font size no larger than "4", and no more than two font colors. Images in signatures cannot be any larger than 800 pixels wide x 200 pixels tall. Animated images are not allowed.

12. You are prohibited from taking any action to disturb the use of the services by others, distribute material that contains viruses, spyware or any other malicious code or harmful programs. This includes interfering with the working of the network, attempts to gain unauthorized access to a service or other computer systems that are part of the site or any other site, by use of the available services.

13. Discussion of moderation actions in public and/or private forums is not permitted. Moderation actions include warnings, suspensions and the editing or deletion of posts. If a member has a concern about a moderation action, he or she is invited to address it with the board staff via Private Message. This rule exists to protect the privacy of all posters with regards to disciplinary action. The moderator team will never publicly discuss the warnings/suspensions of any posters, and we ask that you return the favor, whether about yourself or another poster. Posting about moderation actions in the public forums constitutes a violation. You are free to discuss a moderation action via Private Message with the moderator involved, but you may not harass or abuse the moderators (as already specified in the forum rules). In practical terms, this means that once a moderator tells you his or her decision is final, no further PMs about that moderation action are permitted. If you have a concern about a moderation action, you are free to appeal to a Forum Administrator via Private Message. You may only discuss moderator activities or discussion of moderation with staff member if you chose to private message and are not under any circumstances allowed to use the PM function to forward or promote moderator discussion in regards to specific forum action, amongst other regular members. Administrators do reserve the right to read said PMs and may do so ; if that results in discovery of messaging between posters of such moderator discussion then it will lead to the same violation being received for discussing said moderator actions on the forum. If you receive a message to the effect of having been given moderator information, please report it to a member of staff. Engaging back in that discussion with the original violator will earn you just as stiff a sanction.

14. Do not ignore moderators or administrators. Do not repost something a moderator or administrator has deleted. You cannot have moderators or administrators on your ignore list.

15. Only post in English. Short passages in foreign languages may be acceptable if its use seems helpful for the ongoing discussion and when there is no indication of a potential violation of the forum rules. Always provide a translation into English in such cases. In case of doubt, the incident will be regarded as a violation, no matter of the actual meaning of the foreign language text.

16. The use of words/comments etc. written by other posters, without approval of the poster in your personal signature is not allowed nor are references, by name, to other posters allowed.

17. Please pay attention to announcements by Forum staff that will be found in the "Welcome! / News & Announcements" forum from time to time.

18. Use of "liar", "lies", "lying", etc. Accusing someone of being a "liar" or similar accusations towards other posters will generally be regarded as implying an insult and therewith as a violation of the forum rules. "I question the validity of your statement because...", "That's not the truth" or "you are wrong about that" are sufficient for any decent discussion if you want to disagree with somebody's assertions.

19. Thread opening restriction for new members. In order to control SPAM, new members must have moderator approval to start their own threads.

20. Thread titles must relate to the discussion within. Do not make misleading titles, or titles such as "Guess what..." or "You'll never believe this...". Members need to be able to identify the general gist of the thread via the title. Profanity in thread titles is not permitted.

21. Forum members are instructed to use forum tools and abilities for their intended purposes and no other. If members identify a forum glitch or weakness of any kind that allows you to see or do something you know you shouldn't, please report it. Being aware of any unintended access to the Forum and failing to take appropriate steps to notify staff of said access issues, will create a presumption of seeking to take advantage of the issue, will result in either account suspension, or banishment.

22. Any link to a site that contains graphic content, must contain a warning describing what a person might reasonably expect to view if they click on said link. No graphic pictures are to be posted on the Forum.

23. Threats or advocations of violence toward a public figure, or member of the Forum, will not be tolerated. Conversation about revolution or the like is not prohibited by this rule; directly calling for violence is, eg “It's time to kill every <redacted> that voted for the bill,” is not permitted.

24. Accounts with no posts will be deleted after 30 days. Inactive accounts with low post histories may be deleted after one year.

25. Private forums are something offered to members that decide to contribute directly to this site via donations. These donations help immensely in keeping this site up and running. Private forums are designed to allow the contributing member discuss whatever he/she wants to and to have the power to direct that discussion in whatever way he/she chose. They were not designed nor are they intended for simply talking trash about members that don't have access to the forum. While the targeted members cannot see the forum or the comments, it creates a negative atmosphere that really isn't necessary. If you want to totally rip apart ideas, ideologies, political parties, etc. that is fine. We simply ask that you don't use the private forums as a means to attack other members that aren't privy to such comments. It is difficult enough to have a political discussion forum because the discussion of politics is inherently heated as people are so passionate about their beliefs...the ones that take the time to come to such a site in the first place at least. The idea of private forums is so people of similar political persuasions can discuss whatever they want without fear of being attacked. Nonetheless, we hope that a certain level of maturity would foster itself within such an arena and not simply lend itself to a bashing forum.

Private Forums are governed by all of the above Forum rules. In addition:
  • Private forums that essentially become abandoned homes will be subject to deletion, donation or reorganization. Just like elsewhere in life, clubs sometimes lose their vitality and purpose for a myriad of reasons. If it becomes clear that a private forum has clearly lost its vitality and nobody is going to really use it anymore, owners are advised to consider whether to reuse the forum for something new and productive rather than let them linger or notify the Administration that the forum should be rearranged for other purposes, closed, merged with other compatible private forums, donated to others for new purposes, etc. Do not be concerned that your forum must be a membership and post count race with others to avoid falling under this policy; the question is whether your forum has actual vitality instead of being 'brain dead.'
  • Additionally, private forums may only be owned by subscribed members in the Platinum or Diamond categories.
  • Should the owner of a private forum be banned, quit USPOL or otherwise abandon the forum the PF will be transferred to another owner or closed.
  • Propriety of private forums. Administration staff will determine the desirability of a proposed private forum and enact any conditions upon it to ensure its purpose is productive.
  • Any and all instances of sharing accounts by allowing someone else to log in under their own account so they can see into private forums for which they are otherwise not permitted to access, will be deemed violation of the double account rule and all caught doing so will be permanently banned.
  • Relaying private forum posts and information to other posters who are not members of the particular private forum for any negative or destructive purpose (eg mean-spirited gossip, fueling interpersonal disputes, etc), is not permitted, and will constitute a violation of the Forum rules.
  • For purposes of monitoring USPOL Terms of Service Administrative staff (not Moderators) will have access to Private Forums.
  • All Private Forums must have at least one active Administrator as a member for purposes of handling issues which cannot be addressed through moderation permissions.
  • Discussion of moderation activities is prohibited on the open site and is likewise prohibited in Private Forums.
26. The administrators and moderators reserve the right to edit and/or delete a post,and/or close a thread, and/or delete a thread at any time if of the opinion that the post is too obscene, inappropriate, or the discussion has run its course.

27. 'Back seat moderating' is not allowed. If you take issue with another poster's contribution to the forum, you're welcome to report any posts you think are out of line, but you should not bring it up publicly within the forum.

28. Images in posts (whether embedded or hot linked) must be reasonable in size. 800x800 should be considered a good rule of thumb. Excessively large images make it difficult for users on mobile devices to load pages. If necessary please simply link to very large images using the URL tags. In addition, the following images are not permitted (including, but not limited to pages with images or videos containing):
  • Strategically covered nudity
  • Sheer or see-through clothing
  • Lewd or provocative poses
  • Close-ups of breasts, buttocks, or crotches
29. Any solicitation or communication involving sports betting / gambling / online casinos / bookies and or internet based card or slot machine systems or sites will lead to all said content being physically removed from the site and server, and will lead to any and or all parties involved being permanently removed and banned from the site to the farthest extent possible. This includes any links to any form of bookmaker, casino, any type of game or match or event where money transfers on the outcome or link of any sort to wire act violations and or anything in violation of either the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or the Federal wire Act. This applies not only to the open forum but all and or any chat rooms, articles, private messages and or private forums. All content that violates this rule will be deleted, without notice.

CONSEQUENCES

Failure to comply with any of the forum rules may result in your posts being edited or deleted and/or your account being temporarily or permanently banned from the forums. U.S. Politics Online uses a warning system that generates an automated Private Message to members when they are in violation of Forum rules. The decision to issue a warning is left to the discretion of the moderator or administrator handling the violation. If a member does not agree with an action taken by a moderator, they can appeal to an administrator after seeking clarification from the moderator who issued the warning/infraction and appealing to them in the first instance. Members MAY NOT harass a moderator or administrator by sending excessive PMs when they are discussing an appeal.

Violations are assigned a point value. Points are valid for 30 days. When a members earns 10 points, their account will be automatically suspended: five (5) days for a first suspension; ten (10) days for a second suspension; and twenty (20) days for a third suspension. If a member incurs an additional 10 points after having served three periods of suspension, then they will be permanently banned from the Forum.

Point values are as follows:
Zero (0) points – Warning
Two (2) points - Minor infraction / Non post infraction (minor) / Off topic posts / spamming
Four (4) points - Academic dishonesty / Baiting / Discussing moderator or administrator actions / Implying an insult / Minor insults / Moderate infraction / Non-post infraction (moderate) / Thread dumping
Six (6) points - Direct insult at another member / major infraction / Non-post infraction (major)
Ten (10) points - Act of criminality, or advocating thereof
The administrators and moderators also bear the right to issue warnings, temporarily suspend or ban posters for continued trolling or other serious misconduct (eg. professional spamming) even if the poster has not yet reached the maximum warning points or suspensions level. Other options if the above consequences do not seem adequate include placing the member in a moderation queue, which means all posts will have to be approved before they are posted to the board.

PRIVACY POLICY

All information obtained by the end user via the registration process is for internal purposes only and will not be sold to or shared with any third parties. However, if the end user participates in illegal activities and a court of proper jurisdiction orders U.S. Politics Online to release certain information about said user then we will act according to the law. Furthermore, no information will be released on threat of a lawsuit, attempted or actual intimidation, or due to any other reason except as notated in the first sentence of this paragraph. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the information we do have is very limited and generally only consists of the IP address a member uses.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

U.S. Politics Online offers several subscription plans to help cover the operational costs of the site. As a thank you for your donation, you will receive special added benefits meant to enhance your U.S. Politics Online experience. Plans vary in price, starting at only $0.05/day, and benefits vary with the price. Benefits include ability to go straight to new posts, to search the forum, larger avatar, private forums, invisible mode, photo gallery, email, web hosting, and no advertisement banners. Please, click here for more details.
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Economic Issues

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This will take you to the website of the Federal Trade Commission. They have a great deal of information that is helpful for consumers, including your rights with respect to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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