10 Commandments

Someone said a long time ago: "Love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as yourself." If you stick to this fairly basic principle, you won't go far wrong here. However, just in case, here are the 10 Commandments of the Ship of Fools bulletin boards, available in easy-to-swallow tablets.

1. Don't be a jerk
2. Engage brain before posting your message
3. Attack the issue, not the person
4. Take all personal arguments to Hell
5. If you get it wrong, own up to it
6. Respect the hosts
7. Don't post illegal material
8. Don't crusade
9. Don't advertise or spam
10. Don't create sock puppets



1. Don't be a jerk

This is a community of intelligent, passionate, adult Christians. Lively argument is what we're about. If you deliberately set out to antagonise or offend other shipmates you risk having your membership suspended for a time or cancelled for ever. Please follow the normal rules of netiquette.

2. Engage brain before posting your message

Please read the words you've written before you post them. Once they're out there, you can't take them back.

3. Attack the issue, not the person

Name-calling and personal insults are not allowed, regardless of the context. The same goes for comment which stereotypes or attacks people on the basis of their race, nationality, age, gender, religious belief or sexual preference. Please avoid unintelligent remarks such as "Americans irritate me because..." or, "homosexuals are always saying..." Remarks like this always start flame wars and they are treated severely. All the above areas are open for reasoned debate, but extreme or insensitive attacks on the beliefs or lifestyle choices of other shipmates are not tolerated. When discussing a specific people group, please mentally substitute the name of a shipmate for the group in question before you post your message. That is the rule the administrators and hosts will use to determine whether or not your post is a personal attack, so please do the same.

4. Take all personal arguments to Hell

If you get into a personality conflict with other shipmates, you have two simple choices: end the argument or take it to Hell. Personal arguments are not allowed outside Hell because they disrupt and derail conversation on the other boards. If you take your argument to Hell, please read the guidelines for that board. Hell is not a free-for-all. Bigotry, racism, sexism and general nastiness will catch the most unwanted attention of the hosts.

5. If you get it wrong, own up to it

If you get it wrong, please apologise. Sincere apologies have always been warmly received on these boards.

6. Respect the hosts

Each board is looked after by two or three hosts who are there to encourage discussion, field questions, welcome new arrivals, settle minor disputes and send personal arguments to Hell. Please respect the hosts – they give a lot of time to the boards. Rulings by hosts must be taken seriously. If you disagree with a ruling, raise the issue in the Styx, our board for discussing in-house issues.

7. Don't post illegal material

Posting libellous material, copyright violations or links to sites advocating illegal activities puts Ship of Fools in legal danger. Don't do it.

8. Don't crusade

Please don't use these boards to promote personal crusades. This space is not here for people to pursue specific agendas and win converts. Information-sharing and debate about a range of issues and campaigns are welcome, of course, but single-issue preaching and crusading are not.

9. Don't advertise or spam

These are debating and community boards. Anyone using them as a free shop window for their own sites or products are directed to our Editor, who will be willing to discuss our very reasonable advertising rates with you. Also, do not lift email addresses from our boards to build your own mailing list or spam our members.

10. Don't create sock puppets

A sock puppet is a second board identity. In an online community there is no good reason to take on more than one identity – doing this breaks the trust between people and undermines the community as a whole. Please be aware that we do not allow multiple usernames.



Please read the
FAQ pages for information about the administrators, hosts and the way the boards operate. Your comments and suggestions on these house rules are welcome – simply post your ideas on our permanent 10 Commandments thread on the Styx.

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