The short of it is that a member recently posted what seemed like an ad, and I deleted it, but then realised that I needed to post clearer guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not. Mostly to establish a fair baseline for everyone. I expect that this might happen a few more times in the future, as we encounter the full range of possible activity.
The update reads:
Please do not solicit business or website traffic on this forum. Mods will determine what constitutes solicitation on a case by case basis, but here are some guidelines about commonly encountered issues:
- Members may enter personal websites or blogs in the “Website” section of their profiles.
- Members may link to relevant pages on their personal websites or blogs in replies on a topic started by another member.
- Members may not post affiliate or referral links, or ask for referrals.
- If you’re a company representative in a discussion about a product or service, you must identify yourself, and you should only post on that topics to correct factual errors or directly answer unresolved technical questions about your products or services.
- Authors, software developers, or others looking for feedback should contact the mods for approval before posting.
- If you’re unsure about a post, you may also send a DM to a forum admin or mod for approval before posting.
And the Misc update reads:
Certain violations, in particular posting or linking to spam, threatening, abusive, illegal, or obscene material, will result in removal of the message and may lead to an immediate and permanent ban of the poster.
Usernames must be inoffensive, in accordance with all other forum policies, and not misleading. Examples of usernames that do not meet these requirements would be any that include profanities, rude/sexist/racist comments, the names of real people other than yourself, political or religious expressions, and recognizable trademarked names.
Avatars may be deleted by a mod or site admin at any time if it results in complaints from your fellow members, if it duplicates an existing member’s avatar, or if it includes any of the following:
- ads or commercial messages
- misleading photos
- offensive or disturbing images
I’ve run multiple online communities in the past, so I know that setting clear rules and enforcing them early is important to set the tone and culture of the site. Consider this an instance of that in action.