The following are some general rules and guidelines to follow when participating in the discussions at Free PC Help Forum.
Admin and Moderator rights
If a staff member lock's a topic, it is for a good reason. Don't start posting the topic again. If you don't agree with it, PM the staff member who has locked the topic.
Staff members have the right to change members posts. This can happen for various reasons, like posting
spam or flaming. If a staff member does this, usually he/she will post the reason why he/she changed the post.
Staff members have the right to ban you from the forum for breaching our forum rules.
Staff member have the right to delete a topic without further notice. This can be done for 3 reasons.
The topic was full of spam
The topic had a great amount of posts that where against the rules.
The topic is a duplicate that was posted as a separate thread or as a reply to another post.
Have respect for the decision of staff. If you feel a staff member is treating you unfairly, PM an Administrator of the site to discuss the problem.
Keep it legal. No posts in aid of pirating intellectual property, pyramid scams, phone freaking or other illegal activities will be tolerated. Since this site has an international following and since what is considered illegal can vary from country to country, the moderators will decide if a post is acceptable or not.
No pornography or adult content (defined, but not limited to, nudity, sexually explicit material, or innuendo)
Keep it civil. Do not insult or disparage any member. If you have a problem with another member or moderator, send a private message to him/her.
Think before you post. Good rule of thumb only post if you have a clear grasp of the topic and if you do take a minute to review what you’re about to post and what others have posted. If you think your solution is a better option by all means post it. If someone disagrees with you refrain from bringing the topic to a halt by arguing over which solution is better. Arguments over who is right or wrong or which answer is better are good for stroking ones ego and lends no real value to the community.
No Spam. This is such a basic rule of netiquette we shouldn't have to say it, but here it is. No advertising, no promoting of websites or products, EXCEPT as a reply to a particular post where the website or product is relevant. No recruitment, either amateur or professional. Also, if linking or referring to another site that has specific information, please link directly to the relevant page/thread and do not just send someone to the main page.
Posts should be posted in the proper forum. While the General forum gets the most traffic, the specific forums are read by users best able to help you. If you feel that a post really belongs in the general forum, you can post it there, but if we disagree, we will move it.
Off topic posts should be posted in the Members Lounge and its specific sub-forums. Keep off topic posts out of the tech forums. It only makes it harder for people that might have the same problem from finding the solution if they have to wade through off topic comments and posts.
Keep it clear. It's very easy to misinterpret what people are saying via a forum post because you can't see the body language or hear the inflections. Therefore, we should all ensure that our posts are as clear as possible. Also, bear in mind that this forum has global scope so we have to be tolerant of those for whom English is not their first language.
Keep it on topic. If you post in one of the tech forums asking for help or offering a solution then don’t ask what we had for dinner or what we are doing. Rule number 8 is a good reference.
Read the whole thread before posting. The question may already have been answered. In that case, do not post unless you can add a different or better solution or a correction to the previous post. When answering a post, try to post accurate and complete information to the best of your ability. If you don't know, then don't post. If you have a suggestion but are unsure of its accuracy, please include a disclaimer. Rule number 5 also applies.
Threads that have been inactive (no new posts) for one month or more should be considered archive-only and should be left alone (except by the thread starter). In some cases it may be acceptable to reopen a thread but the moderators have the final say. If your question is similar to another one add a link in your thread back to the older one and explain the relevance to yours.
If you have posted a question, and your problem has been solved either by another poster, or on your own, then please post a message saying that the issue has been resolved.
No duplicate threads. Post your question once, in one thread, in one forum only. You will get a reply if you have observed guideline 7 and if someone knows the answer, but it may not happen straight away. Duplicating often dilutes the volume and quality of any responses you receive, and potential respondents may not reply to a duplicate knowing that a moderator will delete all but one of them. If you wish to clarify your question, do so in a reply to the original thread. This action will 'bump' your thread to the top of the forum. Empty 'bumps' are discouraged and threads 'bumped' in this way within 24 hours of the original post will be deleted.
The Malware forums have a separate set of guidelines that outline how posts should be formatted and who may reply to the topics of these forum. Make sure to read those guidelines before posting in those forums. It is imperative that those specific guidelines be followed and only the malware removal experts reply to topics. If any other users reply in those topics it might confuse the poster as to what to do. Our malware experts are extensively trained and certified with malware removal techniques. Any replies to topics in the malware removal forum from anyone except the malware removal experts certified to remove malware will be removed with no explanation.
The Personal Message (PM) system is to be used for personal conversations. They should not be used to get help with your computer problems. Using the PM system for computer help limits the type of help you might get. Any computer problems should be posted in the forums so that you get the best help possible. By posting in the forum other users with a similar problem will benefit for reading the thread.
User group permissions.
There are 2 user groups for regular members. One is the default Registered Users group. This group has limited privileges to help prevent spam and abuse of posting privileges. This group can:
Post threads and reply to other threads.
View all threads and posts in all forums with the exception of the private staff forums.
Upload and use an avatar and edit basic profile information.
This group has all privileges that Active Members have with the exception of the following.
Cannot use the private message system to communicate with other members.
Cannot have a signature and cannot post links in any non-forum specific area.
Cannot post status updates on their user profile page.
This helps to prevent our users from being subjected to unsolicited private message spam.
Once you have 10 posts on Free PC Help Forum you will automatically be promoted to the Active Members groups. The additional privileges for this group include:
Access to the PM system where you can communicate with other members in private.
Links in signatures are allowed, but, are still governed by the limits listed in the signature guidelines. See rule number 18.
Ability to post status updates in your profile.
Once you have the privilege to add a signature follow these guidelines:
Signatures can be no more than 4 lines of text with a 400 character limit. bbcode is not counted against the limit.
Signatures can contain 2 links to other websites.
Images can be used in signatures. A maximum of 2 images are allowed. If they are linked images they count against the maximum link rule.
Smilies can be used in signatures. A maximum of 5 smilies are allowed.
These signature guidelines do not apply to staff as they might have information in their signatures such as links to posting guidelines, important threads or other important information that is essential to the operation of the community.
If you have trouble accessing your account or if you would like clarification as to why your account may have been removed or suspended, you may contact an administrator for assistance.
The Admins/Moderators have final judgment over any post/avatar/signature. Posts/avatars/signatures that violate the above guidelines may be moved, edited or deleted without notice. Most of the time, you will be notified by Personal Message with an explanation of judgments or actions. You may privately request further explanation, but arguing with the decision will not be tolerated. Posters who violate the guidelines may be banned, depending upon the infraction and prior history. This can also be without notice, but in most cases, a warning will be issued.
Updated: 14 March 2015 15:35 CST - Added Signature Guidelines