For all posters - these are the rules of the board. These are effective immediately, from March 2021, and have been slightly modified so please get acquainted with them.
Notes on the admin approach
Administrators have the difficult job of deciding who has committed an offence - this can be a grey area - but the admins aim to make decisions objectively and in the best interests of DATM. At present there are three administrators, two of whom need to agree on an outcome following a reported post. The current admin team are BigDaddyG , kennyk2 and Rigodon Rigsby . All 3 have an equal say.
Administrators cannot guarantee to read every post, so please use the 'report post' function to bring attention to anything you feel violates the rules of the forum. The identity of any member who submits a report will remain amongst the Admin team and not divulged to other members. Generally, if the admin team come across a post that may break the rules, we’ll only act in serious cases.
We reserve the right to delete or merge threads if they are duplicative in nature
We do not to allow posts or threads relating to ticket exchanges or using other peoples' priority details on this board save where, in the view of the admin team, such posts are not intended to circumvent the initiatives established by the club. This is to support the club in its initiatives, which are designed to ensure that the fans are treated as fairly as possible. All such posts will be deleted as soon as practicable after the admin team become aware of them, and repeat offenders may face a sanction.
The politics and current affairs sub-board is the only board we tend to administer differently. Here, we tend to allow some conduct that we may not allow elsewhere – debate can often become heated and some of the opinions can become unsavoury, but generally we tend to let this play out and the users of the sub-board to police themselves. This does not mean you can’t report posts, but it does mean that we’ll review them bearing the location of them in mind. As a general rule of thumb, if your post would normally result in a yellow card, we will most likely let it slide. However, we take each report on merit, and repeated low level offending on this sub board may well trigger sanctions and we still expect users to conduct themselves appropriately. Our advice to those who may like to avoid contentious and often controversial debate is to stick to the main board.
We operate a yellow and red card disciplinary system - posters who are in contravention of the rules for a minor offence will receive a yellow card (a warning level of 50%). Two yellow card offences (a warning level of 100%) will result in a suspension of one week.
A further two yellow cards will result in a one month suspension. Finally, two more yellow cards on top of this (6 in total) will result in a lifetime ban.
If you commit a major offence, you will receive a straight red card - resulting in a suspension of one calendar month. Any infringement following a major red card will result in a lifetime suspension.
Warning level increased to 50%
Warning level increased to 100% – 1 week suspension
1 month suspension
1 month suspension
Any subsequent card
Please note that the new values for warning levels will be applied retrospectively. Currently anyone reading a 66% warning level has their warning level reset to zero after their suspension, but if your warning level was 33% prior to March 2021, it will now read as 50%. This is just to make things a little clearer and more logical.
Yellow card offences
Post quality and trolling In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.
Administrators will use their best skill and judgement to determine if an offence has taken place, via reported posts or - in extraneous circumstances - without. Genuine grievances should not be aired publically on the board, but directed via a personal message to one of the Admin team.
This also includes consistent poor spelling - The users of this forum have expressed their preference for posts to be written in 'clean' English - there are no excuses for badly spelled posts, as all forum users have spell checkers at their disposal, even on mobile devices. Certain slang / nicknames / acronyms are acceptable in the context of a post. Blatant misuse of the English language will not be accepted however.
Finally, this includes poor quality threads - such as threads with misleading or vague titles, posted on the wrong sub board, threads that only serve to advertise products or services, threads that are duplicates or very similar to existing threads – if what you’re saying can be said in a thread already underway, say it there. Aggression/flaming Personal aggression towards other members - it is perfectly acceptable to disagree with the contents of post in a passionate way, but please refrain from abusing the poster himself/herself. This is not acceptable.
Aggressive/extreme abuse of club officials This is a football forum, and as such we all have plenty of opinions to share about matters both on and off the pitch. We are not looking to restrict anyone’s abilities to do this. But we’re also aware that players and staff may view this forum without posting. Indeed, our former keeper Ben Hamer shared details of how reading opinions of him on the internet very much affected his mental health and performance levels during his time here. A simple rule of thumb is that if the comment you’re making would likely result in a sanction if you said it to another poster, then it may well end up doing if said about a club employee. For example, saying you think player X is “sh*t” is acceptable but saying you hope they get injured/die isn’t. Red card offences
Hate of faith - race - sexual persuasion or any other protected characteristic Posts or links of any kind that contain overt hatred of any race, faith, or sexual group.
Cruelty to man, woman, child or animal Posts or links that contain text or imagery relating to cruelty.
Pornography Posts or links that contain text or imagery relating to explicit pornography.
Personal harm Posts or links that contain text or imagery that suggest personal harm or violence towards other members of the forum.
Personal information Posts or links that contain personal information regards to the whereabouts and/or contact details of any person on this board or otherwise, unless that information has already been volunteered by that person.
Pseudonyms Although posting with multiple accounts is possible, posters registering pseudonyms often do so to evade suspensions, or confuse fellow posters. Therefore, if pseudonym accounts are discovered, they will be deleted and the transgressor awarded a yellow card, unless this is to evade a ban, in which case a straight red card will be issued.
(Note: When the registering of a new account to evade the impact of a suspension is suspected the admin team may contact the suspected poster to give them an opportunity to verify their identity. There is no obligation on posters to do this but if they opt not to, the admin team reserve the right to issue the appropriate sanction. However, if we are in no doubt, this step will not be taken)
A note on swearing As a football forum, we accept the use of all swear words, so long as they are NOT directed at other members in a personally aggressive way - if you are the parent of a minor that uses this forum than you should be aware that your child may be exposed to this kind of language. This policy is the result of a democratic vote held here sometime ago.
Minors We appreciate that children may be users of the board. However, this is a football forum, and not a sanitised space. In that regard, it is the responsibility of parents to determine whether it is appropriate for their children to use this board. As a general rule of thumb, if a post would be acceptable when shouted at a football ground, or when chatting with people at the pub, then it will be acceptable on here.
What to do if you disagree with an admin decision or want to discuss our approach
1. If a poster has any comments, criticisms, and/or complaints for or about the admin team, what we are doing, or what we may not have done, or has any suggestions about how we can improve the board, the appropriate way to communicate that to us is to PM one or more of us. We will then discuss it with you, so that you are aware of what our view is.
2. If such comments, criticisms, and/or complaints are posted in an existing thread, we will PM you regarding that point. We ask that people posting on that thread do not discuss the point, but instead draw it to our attention by using the report button, which can be found by clicking on the “settings” button at the top right of the post. We will then PM the original poster.
3. If you see and/or report the post, and would also like to be involved in the discussion, then please PM us, and we will add you to the discussion. We do not want to stifle discussion/debate, or make our administration a closed shop. However, we also do not want to let a thread go off course because of something that could easily be resolved through a quick PM. We feel this is an appropriate compromise.
4. Once the discussion has been taken to PM, the original post will be moved to a new thread within the Forum Rules board. This post and thread will be locked. Once the matter has been discussed and resolved, one of the admin team will post a reply that sets out what action (if any) has been taken.
5. Any poster who persistently posts comments, criticisms, and/or complaints in existing threads will be taken as wumming/trolling in breach of the forum rules, and sanctions will be considered as appropriate.
6. If a poster who PMs us also wants their comments, criticisms, and/or complaints to be shared with the board, then please let us know. We will then add it to this thread, together with the response.
It is not in your interest to post comments, criticisms, or complaints on an existing thread. Not only does that take the thread off on a tangent, and often derails it completely (spoiling the thread for everyone), it also means that we have to deal not only with the original post, but also with the posts responding to it. An issue that could have been resolved in minutes, had a PM been sent to us, instead takes hours to be put to bed.
We would also prefer not to air our dirty laundry in public. Unless it is a topic that we feel is appropriate or desirable to be opened up to general public discussion, any new threads with comments, criticisms and/or complaints will be treated in the manner set out above.