Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
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Zherog
15:09:36 Wed
Jul 20 2005
Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
So for a bit over a year now we have been attempting to determine exactly what some things in the Terms of Use mean for our board. We've been roundly ignored by everybody. Here's a timeline of the events:

  • June 2004: One of our board Admins (Maj) began this thread here on the support forums. While that thread did in fact lead to us being able to actually find a copy of the ToU, questions remained unanswered.
  • April 5, 2005: Maj sent an e-mail to support@bbboy.net. She received confirmation that the e-mail was received, but was never given a reply.
  • April 20, 2005: Maj resent the e-mail to the same address; again, confirmation of receipt was received, but no reply.
  • April 26, 2005: Maj signed up for web-based support desk and resubmitted the questions there. No answer.
  • May 15, 2005: Maj resubmitted the request at the web-based support desk. Once again - you guessed it, no answer
  • June 16, 2005: Yet again, Maj resubmitted to the On-line support desk. And guess what? STILL no answer - more than a month later.

    We are trying to take the Terms of Use very seriously, and enforce the rules on our board as necessary. But it's really difficult to do that when for over a year we've been unable to receive clarification about those rules. Here's a copy of Maj's most recent query over on the On-Line Support. Maybe somebody here can actually answer the questions completely.

    Quote: Maj

    I have been attempting to have my questions answered about Bbboy's policies for two and a half months; over a year if you count my first post on the subject in the support forums ( http://bb.bbboy.net/support-viewthread?forum=1&thread=5205 ). Only the BbMod, Froggy, found the answer to my initial question as to the whereabouts of the Terms of Use for the boards, and as far as I can tell, my post on the subject is the only place that a member of your boards would have "easy" access to reading them (all links I've found no longer work). As for my other questions and requests for clarification, I have received NO answers.

    Once again, I would like to request the decency of a response that at least says, "I don't want to deal with these issues" or, "We are completely subjective about our judgments" or even, "Shut up and go away." Any acknowledgement that there is someone who reads this and doesn't care is better than the dead silence I've received.

    And once again, here are my questions:

    * Posting data that is "abusive" is against the ToU. Does this include linking to political hate sites?

    * Are there still any differences in what can or cannot be done if you have a variable plan versus any other type of plan?

    * In the ToU, it states that the boards may not contain pornography. If a poster posts a link to a website that contains a link to another site that contains semi-pornographic images (like Google, another message board, or some other site), does that violate the ToU or not? Are pictures of anatomy for educational purposes allowed?

    * The ToU says that the boards may not contain obscenity. Are swear words considered obscenties? The f-word is allowed in PG-13 movies, and the boards are intended for people age 13 and over. Does that mean that swear words can be allowed? If only some can be allowed, which ones? Is there a certain context in which swear words are not allowed (ie: "quit your bitching" versus "you're a bitch")? Can someone who's doing an educational report for school swear in order to have a coherent conversation about the subject?

    * If swearing is not allowed, is typing something like s*** allowed? What about situations where someone types something like "@$$" instead of "ass"?


    So there's the issues we need answered so we may provide a thorough Code of Conduct for our board. We've waited patiently for answers to our questions for over a year, trying multiple different ways to get answers. I think at this point we deserve some answers.

    However, I expect to get ignored yet again. At best, I'll probably get a half-baked answer that ignores the actual questions in this post. I'd love to be proven wrong, of course - but I have very little confidence in support around here these days.

  • Nickdisk
    02:27:55 Thu
    Jul 21 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Hi Zherog :smile:

    I apologize about the wait you and Maj have received about your support inquiry, sometimes emails can get missed in the Help Desk.

    As i'm not 100% positive on some of the answers for your questions, i'm going to pass your questions onto BbBoy to see what he says for you :smile:

    Zherog
    14:26:32 Thu
    Jul 21 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Nick - I can understand one e-mail getting lost in the shuffle. But we're talking about a post to this forum, two e-mails, and three different instances in the Help Desk software. It's difficult to not feel ignored under those circumstances.

    I'll accept your apology, though, and move on. BbBoy should be prepared for follow-up questions, since I'm sure answers will lead to more questions as we work to build a Code of Conduct on our board that meets the required standards and also meets the needs and desires of our user community.

    Nickdisk
    03:14:17 Fri
    Jul 22 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    I've just asked BbBoy about our ToS for you, i'll copy and paste his reply below :smile:

    Quote: BbBoy


    Quote:

    * Posting data that is "abusive" is against the ToU. Does this include linking to political hate sites?

    No, just actual abusive content on the board.
    Quote:

    * Are there still any differences in what can or cannot be done if you have a variable plan versus any other type of plan?

    Yes. The variable plan is the most flexible. The fixed plan has popup adverts - the ad networks are generally quite fussy about what type of content their ads appear on, so we have to have additional restrictions there.
    Quote:

    * In the ToU, it states that the boards may not contain pornography. If a poster posts a link to a website that contains a link to another site that contains semi-pornographic images (like Google, another message board, or some other site), does that violate the ToU or not? Are pictures of anatomy for educational purposes allowed?

    No, and no.
    Quote:

    * The ToU says that the boards may not contain obscenity. Are swear words considered obscenties? The f-word is allowed in PG-13 movies, and the boards are intended for people age 13 and over. Does that mean that swear words can be allowed? If only some can be allowed, which ones? Is there a certain context in which swear words are not allowed (ie: "quit your female doging" versus "you're a female dog")? Can someone who's doing an educational report for school swear in order to have a coherent conversation about the subject?

    No. It doesn't particually mean swearing - just particually obscene (enough to be breaking the law) comments etc.


    Zherog
    12:05:06 Fri
    Jul 22 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Thanks for getting a reply to us so quickly, Nick. It's appreciated.

    Not all of our mods/admins have read the reply yet. I'm gathering follow-up questions and I'll post them in one post, rather than smacking you with a whole bunch of questions in lots of little posts.

    Thanks again, Nick. I really do appreciate the fast response you provided.

    Maj
    20:08:19 Fri
    Jul 22 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    To me, there seem to be some major implications here:
    1. We have more lattitude with our interpretation of the ToU because we're actually paying for it (variable plan).
    2. Nude pictures are not allowed at all. Not even for artistic or educational purposes.
    3. We are allowed to swear as it's not against the law, despite it being inappropriate for people older than 13.
    4. The only thing that matters when it comes to determining the appropriateness of what's posted is whether or not it's directly on the board. Anything linked via URL (as opposed to being attached to a post) is not under the purvue of Bbboy and therefore is irrelevant.

    Is this correct?

    fbmf
    20:26:16 Fri
    Jul 22 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    That's what it sounds like to me, Maj, but I, too, want offical clarification.

    Game On,
    fbmf

    Zherog
    20:36:39 Fri
    Jul 22 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Well, I'll point out that for point 2, artistic purposes (such as Michelangelo's David) weren't mentioned, because we never asked.

    Nickdisk
    02:48:50 Sat
    Jul 23 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Quote: Maj

    We have more lattitude with our interpretation of the ToU because we're actually paying for it (variable plan).


    All boards follow the same ToU, the differences BbBoy was talking about are things like Content Limitations, like only Variable boards can upload data which is not in the English language (None-English boards are not permitted with the fixed plan) :smile:

    Our old Sign Up pages which detail the differences between what Fixed & Variable boards can do are still available in the Way Back Machine:

    Fixed
    Wariable

    Quote: Maj

  • We are allowed to swear as it's not against the law, despite it being inappropriate for people older than 13.

  • True, but most people older than 13 probably do swear or are around people who do swear (like at their school).

    Quote: Maj

  • The only thing that matters when it comes to determining the appropriateness of what's posted is whether or not it's directly on the board. Anything linked via URL (as opposed to being attached to a post) is not under the purvue of Bbboy and therefore is irrelevant.

  • If the content is just linked to rather than actually posted, people viewing the thread the link is posted in have a choice to click the link to view the content or not.



    Zherog
    22:42:16 Sun
    Jul 24 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Quote: Zherog at 20:36:39 Fri Jul 22 2005

    Well, I'll point out that for point 2, artistic purposes (such as Michelangelo's David) weren't mentioned, because we never asked.


    Just want to make sure this didn't get lost in the flury of posts. :wink:

    Nickdisk
    23:25:40 Sun
    Jul 24 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    I think BbBoy meant you can link to pictures of anatomy for educational purposes, but not post them on your actual board :smile:

    Zherog
    01:39:21 Mon
    Jul 25 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Could we verify that? It'd certainly be appreciated if you could find that out for us, Nick. It'd suck if we broke a rule simply because we misinterprated something here. :wink:

    Nickdisk
    20:38:16 Tue
    Jul 26 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Yep, i'll ask BbBoy for you :smile:

    Nickdisk
    02:10:42 Fri
    Jul 29 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    I've asked BbBoy for you, and he said Michelangelo's David is ok :smile:

    Maj
    17:57:35 Sun
    Jul 31 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    OK. Next questions:

    One of the posters on my boards suggested to another poster to download a copy of a book illegally. I has him remove his comment since it was talking about illegal activities on the boards.

    Is making that sort of comment acceptable, so long as there's no links to the offending material, or is making that sort of comment not allowed?

    Quote: Nickdisk

    I've asked BbBoy for you, and he said Michelangelo's David is ok


    Thank you. Does this mean that posting pictures (though they may be nude) of known pieces of artwork is acceptable?

    Where do we draw the line...? Do we draw it at how famous the artwork is? Or if the picture is of some other type of art form (ie: a picture of a statue of a nude man, versus a picture of a nude man)?

    Thank you!

    Nickdisk
    02:06:52 Mon
    Aug 1 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Hi Maj :smile:

    Quote:

    One of the posters on my boards suggested to another poster to download a copy of a book illegally. I has him remove his comment since it was talking about illegal activities on the boards.

    Is making that sort of comment acceptable, so long as there's no links to the offending material, or is making that sort of comment not allowed?

    Nope, discussing illegal activities isn't allowed on BbBoards.

    Quote:

    Does this mean that posting pictures (though they may be nude) of known pieces of artwork is acceptable?

    Where do we draw the line...? Do we draw it at how famous the artwork is? Or if the picture is of some other type of art form (ie: a picture of a statue of a nude man, versus a picture of a nude man)?

    I'm not 100% completly sure where to draw the line, i'll have to ask BbBoy for you, but i'd say, as long as it is only linked to instead of being posted, and is definitely art and not pornography, it should be ok :smile:

    Maj
    02:59:57 Mon
    Aug 1 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Quote: Nickdisk

    I'm not 100% completly sure where to draw the line, i'll have to ask BbBoy for you, but i'd say, as long as it is only linked to instead of being posted, and is definitely art and not pornography, it should be ok


    This actually seems to go back to the absolutely no nude pictures rule, then. Posting anyone nude - even Michelangelo's David - should be done via a link and not directly on the boards. And in that case, then it falls under the "people don't have to click on a link, therefore we don't care what the link is", right?

    Wow. I can't thank you enough. I feel like I'm actually getting somewhere.

    Nickdisk
    00:20:10 Tue
    Aug 2 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Yep, thats right :smile: As long as its only linked to instead of actually loaded on your board, it should be ok :smile:

    Maj
    16:49:58 Fri
    Aug 12 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Thank you very much for helping, Nickdisk.



    Maj
    17:17:38 Fri
    Aug 12 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Actually, while modifying our code of conduct, I ran into another question...

    Quote: Nickdisk

    Quote: Maj

    One of the posters on my boards suggested to another poster to download a copy of a book illegally. I has him remove his comment since it was talking about illegal activities on the boards.

    Is making that sort of comment acceptable, so long as there's no links to the offending material, or is making that sort of comment not allowed?

    Nope, discussing illegal activities isn't allowed on BbBoards.


    Does this mean that we can't discuss activities that are illegal, or that we can't discuss performing illegal activities?

    For example, someone posted a news article about a Supreme Court decision that overrides a state's laws on whether or not to allow people to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes.

    If we aren't allowed to post about illegal activities, are we allowed to even post an article like that?

    Are we allowed to discuss the ramifications of that Supreme court decision so long as it doesn't involve anyone saying things like "I smoke pot"?



    Nickdisk
    03:17:19 Sat
    Aug 13 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Quote:

    Are we allowed to discuss the ramifications of that Supreme court decision so long as it doesn't involve anyone saying things like "I smoke pot"?

    Yep :smile: I think it only refers to things like, for example, discussing illegally downloading movies, etc, of the internet, and encouraging other members to do the same :smile:

    Maj
    20:06:54 Tue
    Aug 16 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    All right! Again, a thousand thanx.

    :smile:

    Maj
    21:45:57 Thu
    Aug 18 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Apparently, I wasn't thorough enough. After posting our changes, one of my posters asked which country's laws governed our boards. I know bbboy is registered in the UK. Are we bound by British law, US law, both, neither...?

    Nickdisk
    23:37:35 Thu
    Aug 18 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    Hi Maj :smile:

    From our Terms And Conditions:

    Quote:

    These terms and your account with Best Boards will be over-seen by the laws of the United Kingdom, excepting stored data or server issues, which will be over-seen by the laws of Canada.


    Also, if you are an administrator of a board, you agree to not to design a message board to violate or solicit the violation of any law (be it local, state, county, national or international law) :smile:

    Maj
    17:14:53 Fri
    Aug 19 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    100,001 thanx.

    Nickdisk
    03:30:45 Sat
    Aug 20 2005
    Re: Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    No problem :thumb:



    Terms of Use/Code of Conduct unanswered questions
    http://bb.bbboy.net/support-viewthread?forum=1&thread=5594
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