I was thinking of a solid rule system. Pretty much exactly what we set up at TUS:
Treat others as you wish to be treated (10% ~ 40%)
This one is simple. Don't insult, harass, persecute, or otherwise cause any member of this community undue grief. By extension, actions such as flaming and trolling (picking a fight, essentially) are forbidden. Some criticism is of course allowed, but just try to keep it to a minimum.
Keep it clean (10% ~ 30%)
Using foul language in excess is strictly prohibited. One or two "bad words" may be permitted (we have a censor in place to get the really nasty stuff), but if every other word out of your mouth is profanity, expect to have posts nuked.
No inappropriate materials (Warn 20%~40% and Loss of Posting Ability)
Posting anything illegal or inappropriate is not looked upon highly and will get removed. This is inclusive of, but not necessarily limited to: ROMs; ISOs; adult media; copyrighted materials (to which you do not hold the copyright); anything of a repulsive or disgusting nature, or consisting of gratuitous violence; or anything else deemed inappropriate. Don't post requests these things either, obviously.
Spam tastes and looks bad (10%)
Don't spam or flood topics with useless banter. Spam can be described as anything as simple as a "yes" to one-line responses to off-topic responses to posts with no coherence. Generally speaking, make sure your posts contribute to the topic at hand, and this rule will not affect you. Bumping years-dead topics without a significantly good reason also can qualify for this rule.
On that note, this is not an instant messenging service or an IRC room. The chat will not fly by if you don't get your response out in 42 nanoseconds--slow down and type coherently. As an example, "lol thx" is not appropriate. "Thank you for your help," however, can be.
Member Moderation is a no-no (10% ~ 20%)
Member moderating (also known as "backseat moderating" to some) is when a member decides to take it upon him or herself to tell another member what they did was wrong or violates the rules. If you are not a Moderator, do not act like one. The "Report Post" feature is there for a reason, and we ask you use it. This is not license to go out and cause havoc, but this simply means you need not concern yourself with moderation, nor are you to act as the judge of one's guilt or innocence to this end.
One account and one account ONLY (Read below)
You are to have in your posession no more than one account. If a multitude of accounts is found, the excess accounts may be merged, banned, or deleted at will, and the perpetrator will be warned or banned depending on circumstance. As an example, if someone creates a second account to bypass restrictions on the first one, both will be removed and the member will be globally banned; however, if a second account exists for reading the board (not voting topics down or any other malicious activity), the account will likely simply be merged and a warning of 10% issued to the first account.
Advertisements - Appropriate areas only (10% ~ 20%)
Advertisements for one's site or any object one is trying to promote need to be kept in the appropriate areas. "Appropriate areas" are your Signature space, or in the Spam area. The inappropriate materials rule applies doubly here--if you link to anything or promote anything falling under that umbrella, the punishment will be doubled, which could result in up to an 80% warning.
General forum etiquette (Varies--see below)
Foremost, cross-posting is not allowed. To cross-post is to post the same message (or a similar variant--don't just change a few words) more than once in a forum or topic. While cross-posting in a topic is nowhere near as irritating as it is if there are multiple repeated topics, this can get you warned if the action is blatant and intentional. Posting the same topic more than once of your own hand will earn you the warning. Cross-posting will result in a 10% ~ 30% warning and a loss of your ability to post topics for 1 week.
Second, don't necropost without due cause. While it is better to post in an existing thread than to start a new one, raising a topic more than a month from inactivity with anything not of value will earn you a warning. If, a poll is revived with a vote, you are able to resume discussion. By all means, raise the topic if it is pertinent to something you mean to ask (or if it is a topic you hold interest in), but if it is not worthwhile (if it's spammy) it will be removed and you will receive a written warning. Repeated violations of this rule will result in a 10% warning and the possibility of having Moderator Review applied for 1 week.
Third, use the spoiler tag whenever you're speaking to an issue which is considered uncommon knowledge, end-of-game material, or something that is a plot twist of any kind, as well as anything that people may just not want to know--of course, don't hide rule-breaking content, but that's obvious, right? Unmarked spoilers will result in deletion of said post. Repeated violations of this rule will earn the same punishment spam posts do.
Also, we do NOT TOLERATE death threats. AT ALL. Death threats will range anywhere from a 30% warn to a complete ban. This not only includes threats against others, but threats to kill oneself. Why? It's simple. We don't want the liability and it's something selfish and depressing that NOBODY wants to see or hear about.
Personal conversations go to PMs or elsewhere (10% ~ 30%)
Don't start a topic just to chat with one exclusive group. Anything posted on the board can and will be accessed by everyone (except in your Team Forum, for example), and as such everyone is allowed to participate. Shunning a member off a topic because of a digression of opinion, or setting up a topic for a select few only is not permitted. Topics in public areas found to be in violation of this rule will be removed and warnings will be issued to participants as appropriate.
Lastly, note that displaying superfluous amounts of idiocy on forums will result in much hilarity at your expense, and be treated as spam. Beware.
These aren't rules, this just explains what your Warning Levels mean, and additional punishments that may befall you should you be warned.
0% ~ 40%
You're either clean as a whistle, or you've messed up a bit. In either case, you still have time to straighten up and fly right. No additional punishment will befall you for being warned in this range.
50% ~ 60%
Your record is not so clean, but you still have time. Chances are you may be catching ire of Staff a bit easier than you used to be, but this is normal. At this point, any warning within this range will earn you a One Week Suspension.
70% ~ 90% (Cumulative)
You're starting to get on our nerves. This is likely the last chance you've got, so tread very carefully. Any warning within this range will earn you a One Week Suspension and Two Week Moderation Queue.
Reach 100% and you will be permanently removed.
Also, warning punishments are not cumulative, up to 60%. By cumulative, it is meant that if you ate a 20% warning from 40%, you would not be suspended for two weeks. However, at 70% and above, warnings ARE cumulative. As an example, if you were at 70% and ate a 20% warning, you would be suspended for two weeks and get Moderation Queue for four weeks. Moderation Queue can be added at any point where deemed appropriate.
If you play Kingdom of Loathing, and would like to buy off warnings or bans, you can buy off 10% warning for 500,000 meat sent to Nightvol (#571344). To buy off a ban, you may send a Mr. Accessory to the same name. This will work exactly once. Lulzulz!
Please be careful about where you link avatars and signature images from. Many sites do not appreciate hotlinking, and will disallow your access to said files for hotlinking them. It is best to take an image you like and either upload it to PhotoBucket or Image Socket, then link to them; both are free image hosting providers.
Avatars are not to be more than 140 pixels wide by 140 pixels tall (140x140). Avatar filesizes are not to exceed 50 kB.
Signatures should not be more than 650 pixels wide by 250 pixels tall (650x250). This is inclusive of all text and images you use. This standard was decided upon to allow users at smaller screen sizes (800x600 and up) to use the forums without disturbance. The combined size of all images within your signature, should you choose to use any, should not exceed 100 KB. Signatures found in violation of this rule may be edited!
Also, make sure that no stolen content is present in your avatar or signature. Materials reported as being stolen will be removed and any level of reprimand may occur--plagiarism is not looked highly upon, and nor is this. Fan-art is no exception, either.
For the purposes of easy forum moderation, the staff will not change your username. If we can't tell who you are, it's harder to keep track of what you're doing, that that only causes problems.
Remember, being able to post here is a privilege, not a right. Staff reserves the right to alter or remove any account for any reason with or without notice to the account holder. These rules can be altered at any time and you are expected to keep yourself in compliance with the aforementioned rules.
Original Rule Format by The Undersquare (www.theundersquare.com)