There have been a lot of questions recently regarding the manner in which we moderate BYC. I thought I'd take a moment to refresh the old timers on the rules while also clarifying to the newer members why we moderate the way we do.
First, let me get the most important thing out of the way. The BYC Staff LOVE this community and donate hundreds of combined hours each week to keep this place fun and safe for EVERYONE. Each one of the staff members started out on this forum just like everyone else... as a person who wanted to find a community to learn and grow with. BYC is great because of all the members, but it remains especially great because of all the hard work the BYC staff put into this place. These staff members moderate based on rules set forth many many many years ago that are in place to keep this a safe place for children and friendly for everyone.
About BYC Rules:
The BYC rules are guidelines for behavior. We wish we didn't need any rules and could let everyone participate freely and respectfully. Unfortunately this is difficult when you get past 500 members on a forum (and we're just a tiny bit over that ) These rules are established based on over 10 years of this communitys existence and a LOT of trial and error.
The rules are a foundation, but there are a LOT of grey areas that are difficult to moderate. Fortunately we have an AMAZING group of moderators (we really are very lucky) that work super well together for the benefit of this great community. Within our staff we have over 50 years of combined experience working with this community. We intimately know what does and doesn't work and these points have been proven and validated time and time again over the past almost 10 years the site has been around. The individual staff members are not perfect, and we are always listening to feedback and suggestions, but for the most part I can promise with 100% confidence that our rules are solid and so is the general manner in which we moderate / enforce them.
Regarding Locked / Removed Threads:
Any time a thread is removed, a PM is supposed to be sent to the original poster on why it was removed. Sometimes it may take a few hours, but keep in mind our staff are super busy. If after a few hours you didnt get a PM about a thread that you started was removed, then we apologize. We've got a great group of moderators here, but like many of us they get busy and none of us are perfect.
Also, any time a post is edited by a moderator there is supposed to be a comment in the post with a quick blurb about why it was edited.
Many of the items removed or edited are things that we (the staff) consider in the gray area of appropriateness for this forum. We often err on the side of caution, and do so based on our collective 50 years of experience working with this community.
There are also times where threads are moved to the staff section for review and cleanup... not because of what the original poster posted, but because of replies. In these cases we decide if it is worth the effort and time to do all the editing, but either way the original poster should be notified via PM.
Please don't confuse our love of this group / our desire to see everyone get along with what some would call bitterness or banning freedom of speech. Nobody outside of our staff have the insight to the thousands of reports we get from other members on different posts. Please keep this in mind when judging the actions of our staff.
Regarding "Freedom of Speech":
This is a very interpretable statement. BYC does NOT support "freedom of speech" in the traditional sense. You can not come on this forum and talk about adult topics, porn, drugs, hate speech, etc. We also don't allow PETA or Cock Fighting topics and discourage religious and political topics. BYC was not established as a forum of freedom of expression... there are other forums out there that allow this, but I promise 99.3% of you won't like them as much as you like BYC (for the .7% that do, they usually end up being unhappy here and some get banned).
We are huge proponents of feedback. This is why BYC is the wonderful place it is. With that said, we have a very strict rule on questioning the actions of our moderators publicly. They are GREAT people and work very hard to make this place a well oiled machine of learning and fun. For this reason they deserve respect. If you have issues or questions with how a situation is handled you can contact the moderator or any other staff member privately via PM.
Trolling & Forum Etiquette:
A few reminders on proper forum etiquette: http://www.ehow.com/how_2106033_use-proper-forum-etiquette.html
1) We must respect that others have different opinions, but we must be civil and friendly even if we don't agree.
2) If you ever feel a post is directed to you personally and that someone may be "attacking" you, by no means respond publicly. Hit the report button on the bottom of that post and the forum staff will review and take action if needed.
3) Express your differences of opinion as such.
4) Remember there are lots of challenges with communicating by text only. So much is lost (tone, body language, etc.) which can cause a HUGE miscommunication problem. Per wikipedia:
"Some researchers put the level of nonverbal communication as high as 80 percent of all communication. More reasonably it could be at around 50-65 percent. Thats exactly what Mehrabian discovered in his communication study. He found that only 7 percent of communication comes from spoken words, 38 percent is from the tone of the voice, and 55 percent comes from body language."
So, you can see that in cases where people are reading and then posting replies to a comment, especially one that has a lot of emotion, a TON of information can be lost or miscommunication. This is usually responsible for 90% of the problems on forums which cause threads to be locked or removed.
We encourage everyone to be VERY careful as they read AND reply to posts on a forum (i.e., have a thick skin when reading and be very friendly and clear when posting).
5) Be careful how you reply to someone posting their opinion and how you react to "attacks". Never flame a person for their opinion. Examples:
"You're pretty dumb for believing that! Let me tell you that I know I'm right and you're wrong..."
"I see what you are saying. I personally believe that xxx yyy...."
"How dare you call me dumb you jerk!"
--- Do not reply publicly but report the post to the staff.
Just because something is "true" or "correct" doesn't mean it is okay to post it in a rude way. Remember, it isn't necessarily WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.
Remember, our priority is to continue to make BYC the best, friendliest, and most accessible place in the Universe to get information and help related to chickens. With the help of the over 90,000 wonderful members, we've been able to do some amazing things, and there is still much for us to accomplish together!