Most of the people that post on here do so very happily with no issues. I hope you are one of them and will have fun here.
Some users complain that this forum is over moderated and to those all I can say is please go and post on other show forums and see how they are run, you will find that this forum is far more reasonable than most.
We are all for freedom of speech, but sometimes people take this freedom too far and it threatens to turn this forum from what it should be, a friendly fun place to discuss the shows into one argument after another.
We want to keep the forum how it should be and have less arguments but without removing people's freedom of speech. The only way that is going to work is for everyone to work together.
We don't want to be the stick in the mud and we are not here to ruin all your fun. Completely the opposite, we want you to have fun, both on here and at SM events, but we do have to have rules and those rules will be enforced.
G1: The attitude of posts:
There is already enough negativity in the world, we don't need more here. These events are meant to be about fun. If all you want to do is be negative about what's on offer then quite frankly we don't want to hear it. If you can not put forward a POSITIVE case for what you'd like, DO NOT POST!
We understand people don't like everything, and will want to express their dislikes as well as their likes. This is fine but try not to express your dislikes with too much venom. Think how you'd feel if someone was being rude and dismissive about something you love. All it does is starts arguments. You can have opinions without being opinionated.
Please remember that the people that run these events are human beings with feeling just like you. It is not just some big faceless corporation.
We want and accept constructive criticism, but try to make sure it's polite. When you're writing a suggestion or a comment, write it as if you are going to say it to the organisers face. Please use some tact! We get too many "constructive" posts that are aggressive and demanding.
Please remember that SMs are busy people and don't have time to reply to every suggestion and comment made. That does not mean that your comments are being ignored, just that they don't have time to answer each one individually. Also remember they do not "have" to explain every little business decision to you.
We want ideas and we want to know if something was not 100%. But come in like a bull in a china shop and all you are going to get is people screaming back at you. It doesn't matter how good your point of view is or how great your new idea is, if we can't see it for all the flying crockery it's pointless. Come in and explain politely how you feel things "could" change and you are much more likely to be heard.
G2: Respect the moderators:
Our moderators have 3 jobs. Removing Spam, giving information/answering questions and enforcing the forum rules set down by Showmasters.
So at times that means having to lay down the law, no one likes having to do it, but the rules are there for a reason, be it to stop other organisations from profiting from the SM forum or making sure people feel safe from personal attack or seeing inappropriate posts on this forum.
Please do not take it personally if your post is deleted or amended, the mods are not just coming after you or being vindictive. If you find you repeatedly have posts edited or deleted, ask yourself why, and the simple answer will be, YOU keep breaking the rules. That is not the fault of the mods, please stop trying to ignore the rules and your posts will not need to be amended.
There are grey areas and it's sometimes hard to decided which way to go. Sometimes the other mods will ask myself or SM what the final decision should be. Sometimes we're not about and so they have to make a hard decision themselves. We trust them to do that, it's why they have been made mods.
I'm not saying you can not question a moderating decision, just do it politely. We all make mistakes, I have in the past. If I make a bad call I'm big enough to put my hands up and say, I mis-read that situation and I was wrong. It's not an easy job to moderate these boards and everyone that does it does so for no personal gain. Like myself they do it to try and help make this forum a fun, informative and friendly place to come. They do not need to have personal and rude comment aimed at them for doing their job.
If you do not agree with a rule or are having issues with the way in which the moderators are enforcing the rules, then you are more than welcome to make a complaint to Showmasters (email@example.com).
G3: Posts about our Guests!
We will not accept anyone being rude or overtly negative about one of our guests or what they do. As a general rule you should not be rude about any potential guest.
This is most prevalent in a Guest's Announcement Thread. It should be a positive place to let people know that a guest has been announced and for fans to post in and if they need to ask questions.
You may argue, "Well I want SM to know I don't like this guest, this is a discussion board, why are you stopping me having my opinion!". Well yes you are allowed an opinion but if you don't like an announced guest, posting "I hate this person, they are so rubbish", or "Why another XYZ guest!" or "I want XYZ guests, not this!" is not going to make the show rip up his or her contract. The guest has signed a contract, they are now part of the show, being negative about it isn't going to change anything. All it is going to do is upset that guests fans and the guest themselves if they read it. It's pointless and servers to do nothing but cause issues. If you don't like that specific guest, that's fine, don't go and see them. It comes down to the old phrase of "If you've nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!".
If you have an issue with the guest line up as a whole then feel free to start (or continue) a separate thread. Still do NOT be rude about the guests or what they are part of. But before you start that thread do remember...
Give SM a chance. So many times "The line up is no good" threads get started months and months before the show. And then the week before the same people are saying "Actually it's turned out pretty well!". If you don't like the line up 2 weeks before the show OK, but complaining months before helps no one.
R1: No inappropriate language or images!
This forum does have users of all ages. Please remember that when posting and keep your comments at an acceptable level.
We do not wish to be the Political Correctness police. But any posts considered offensive by us will be edited or deleted. This especially includes any racist, sexist or homophobic comments.
There is a rude word filter on this forum. It is not there for you to try and find interesting ways to get around it. If a word is censored it is because we do not wish it to be on this forum. Please find another word to use.
Any inappropriate images will be removed immediately.
R2: Treatment of other forum members!
Being rude or demeaning to other forum members will not be tolerated. Being aggressive towards other forum members is not allowed, full stop.
Your opinion is just that! YOUR opinion. It does not making it any better or any more right than anyone else's. If you want to discuss your opinions then that's great, but if you just wish to tell someone else they are stupid or uninformed for having a different opinion to you then go somewhere else.
Please keep all posts to other users polite. Imagine for one minute that the person you are posting back to is your own Gran! Every time, THINK, would I post that if it was my Gran I was replying to. Just try it. If everyone did, this will be a better place.
You may not agree with what someone else says. You may believe the other person is talking out of their behind. But that doesn't make it right for YOU to be rude to them.
Everyone likes different things. One fandom is not "better" or "superior" to the next. We are all equal here, we are all FANS. You may not like something but that does not give you the right to be rude about people that do. Putting down others for what they like will not be tolerated on this forum.
We will always get trolls that will come on to the forum just to start trouble. They will be banned. You getting upset and ranting at them is what they want. Don't reply, just ignore them.
We will definitely not accept any personal attacks like name calling.
Threats or even the suggestion of physical violence will not be tolerated. A single warning will be given, if not heeded the member will be banned from this site, and possibly from the events.
R3: Not mentioning or referring to other events and organisations!
Not naming or referring to other events is a standard rule across all event forums.
You have to understand that SM is a business and this forum does cost money to run and is a big investment. SM have built up one of the biggest show forums in the UK. It is frequented by a very large number of event attendees and so is a very large advertising platform. Advertising other events can take money away from Showmasters and so please do understand why as a company they do not wish for other events to profit from their forum.
I'm sorry if this seems selfish to you but honestly why should SM allow others to profits from their forum? Let's say one day someone (not even a Cineworld employee) came along and put up a sign on the front of your home advertising a new Cineworld cinema. The sign being there isn't costing you anything, your wall was already there, why shouldn't they just use your wall? Because at the end of the day it is YOUR wall and you would expect them to have at least asked you first, and to be honest paid you to use your wall! Well this is SMs wall and in the same way as you'd at least expect someone to ask you to put up that sign, they are asking that you get their permission to put information about other companies on their wall. No it doesn't cost them anything directly, the forum is already here, but it is still their forum and so they have the right to say what it is and isn't used for.
R3.a: How much information is too much!
This is the big grey area. Let me clear this up.
Names and website are obviously not allowed. Posting links to websites and forums that then link on to other events site are not allowed. If you are mentioning guests names and location then this is also too much.
In simple terms if you are entering enough information that someone else can find the event you are talking about on Google (or any other search engine), then that is too much.
R3.b: What can I mention!
To make it fair and for it to be possible to enforce we have to make it a blanket ban and so the simple answer is, no organisation or event not affiliated with SM, no matter where it is. Showmasters have the right to decide if they wish for any other event or organisation to be advertised in anyway on their forum, whether it is a direct competitor or not.
We will obviously use common sense and not ban the naming of all organisations like, the post office or TA.
The reasoning behind saying it is a blanket ban is that there can be no complaint if an organisation name is removed. It's easier to say, the rule is nothing and common sense is used rather than try and list all the things that are and aren't allowed, I am aware this allows a grey area.
This rule is mainly to stop the naming of or referring to events and organisations that are competitors to SM and it's sponsors. But we still reserve the right to remove the names of any organisation or event SM feel they don't wish to have mentioned on their forum.
The following are not an issue as long as they are not being run by a direct competitor of SM - book signings, concerts, premiers and plays.
R3.c: What if I want to know about other events or tell others about them!
Forum members are obviously not owned by Showmasters and therefore do have a right to know about other events. By no means am I suggesting they don't, and if you wish to go on to non-organiser specific forums and inform other people of these other events, you are free to do so. Or if you wish you can swap email addresses and send information that way, again this is fine, we just ask that threads do not turn into a long list of "Send it to me too!" posts.
We do not allow the selling or trading of ANY items on this forum. This includes show tickets*.
The last thing we want is for someone to be ripped off and we have no way of policing what is and isn't a valid sale. For this reason we have decided to ban all sales and trading on the forum.
Show tickets are non-refundable (unless the entire show is cancelled) and non-transferable.
No refunds will be given FULL STOP. This is normal business practise. If you buy a named, non-refundable airline ticket you would not expect them to give you a refund because you now either can not or do not wish to travel any more. You take the risk when you buy the ticket. The show can not and will not take that risk for you. If you buy a show ticket to see a specific guest, this is at YOUR OWN RISK. If that guest cancels, this is not grounds for you to ask for a refund.
Photo session and talk tickets will be automatically refunded if the specific guest cancels.
No obvious or direct advertising is allowed, this includes links to business websites.
The show sponsors pay for the right to be advertised on this and other SM/ME websites. For this reason we can not allow other businesses to advertise freely on this forum. This includes dealers that may or may not have tables at an event. I'm afraid this does not give you the right to advertise here.
As always common sense will be used, but SM reserve the right to remove any post about or link to a business that they do not wish to advertise on this forum.
If you wish to advertise on this or any other SM/ME site, please contact them to discuss.
R6: The Moderators and SMs discretion!
Inevitably there are grey areas in the rules and new situations arise all the time. Not every eventuality can be included here. Because there is not a specific rule posted here against it does not automatically make it acceptable to do.
The Moderators and SM will always have to use their discretion and at times posts or threads will be deleted or edited if they feel it is necessary to do so.
R7: What if I don't agree with a rule or decision!
If you don't agree with a rule or decision you are free to contact Showmasters and discuss your concerns with them.
Please do not start an argument over it on the forum. There will be times when decisions are made you don't like, or decisions will not be fully explained. There are times when a full explanation can not be given because there is information involved that is not for the public domain. We try to be as fair as we can be, but we can not and will not spend long periods of time explaining every decision made by a moderator or SM.
SM do own this forum and so if they wish they can remove posts or threads without explanation.
Edited by Queen_Sindel, 22 June 2010 - 04:11 PM.