Content Policy

Infractions of the following policies may result in having the post removed and the user suspended. We generally prefer short (i.e. one week) suspensions as we prefer to have an inclusive community, and many of the people who run afoul of the rules are people who are generally valuable to the community. However users may be suspended for successively longer periods if they keep violating the rules. (It's also not okay to use an alt account to circumvent a suspension and this will result in an additional suspension).

1) No illegal content

This includes anything from copyright infringements to child pornography etc. This does not necessarily mean discussion about illegal activities (e.g. discussing drug use, or drunk driving or crime stories), but content that is illegal for us to host.

2) No spam

Most spam is obvious; some is not. Spam doesn’t even need to include a link for example; it could just describe a product or link, or pose as a review or a request for feedback, or rely on an image that links through to the spammer’s site, or ask users to contact the poster.

3) Self Promotion

Sharing links to content you’ve made or are connected to somehow (because you’re proud of it, or think that it’s useful to the community) is okay when done in moderation. Signing up just to post such links is not. This rule includes links to your website, blog, art work, photo feed, social media account, video, etc. You can share any such links on your profile though.

4) No recruiting

Don't post submissions asking readers to make a donation, sign a petition, spread the word about a crowdfunding campaign, join a website, or take part in a survey.

5) No pornography, gratuitous nudity, gore or inordinately graphic content.

Certain exceptions exist in cases of newsworthiness, artistic merit etc

6) No volume-spam or "soapboxing"

For example, if you start post after post about your favored conspiracy theory or engaging in religious proselytization, you might be over the line. This rule is fundamentally about the signal-to-noise ratio of your posts: if you're posting large volumes of content that doesn't provide value to the community, you might be suspended. Nonsensical or incoherent posts will be removed at any volume.

7) No hate speech

Slurs or epithets on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation etc are not allowed. Controversial topics and unpopular opinions are, of course, okay, but be wary of statements that spill over from opinionating to encouraging or glorifying violence or inciting hatred.

8) No personal attacks

No personal attacks on other members. Heated arguments are okay; mudslinging and calling each other names is not. It’s not okay when done in response to attacks on you or others either; please just report and downvote the offending comment instead. (If you feel provoked by offending comments, you can also use the "ignore user" function.) Creating topics specifically to criticize or mock another individual member is definitely not okay. Neither are specific or credible threats to other members.

9) No personal arguments ad nauseum

If a personal dispute between members drags on and on and gets in the way of others being able to discuss a topic (or crosses from topic to topic) members may be suspended.

10) No voting abuse, begging for (down)votes, vote brigading

No voting abuse, begging for (down)votes, vote brigading or using fake accounts to add extra (down)votes.

11) No "doxing" or sharing of personal information

No "doxing" or sharing of personal information about any member or private person (i.e. posting someone's phone number, real name etc).

12) No private message abuse

Sending spam or personal abuse by private message will get members suspended. It is also not okay to harass users with multiple private messages after they have asked you to not write them. When you receive abusive messages, report them - and please include the text of the violating message(s), since mods and admins cannot access your PMs.

13) No other disruptive toxic behavior, trolling or attacking the general community

This is a catch-all rule that will be applied on a case by case basis to any behavior that is deemed inordinately disruptive to our community. Humour is appreciated; trolling is not. If you dislike the community find one you like, attacking this one and dramatic goodbyes will be removed and the poster suspended.

14) No graffiti tags

Tags are meant to help highlight and organize valuable threads by topic, not to disparage posters or mock topics – it will just create drama, muddle up content and make low-value content more visible. Please don't tag topics as "spam" either (unless they are valuable discussions about spam); just report them. When the next version of the site is released all these tags will be removed, and the ones guilty of abusive graffiti tags will be suspended (you can go to your tags page and start deleting them if you have made them in the past).

Moderator Policy

What do moderators do – and what should they not do?

1) We are not overlords. We are more like janitors.

Moderators aim to intervene as much as necessary, but as little as possible. Our biggest job is to clean up spam. This is not a role for people who fancy authority; it is a thankless job of cleaning things up to keep the community viable.

2) Moderators should not be seen or heard.

Moderators should not disclose their moderator status, announce our actions or give warnings. Any exception to this rule, for example when policy changes are announced, must be approved by site admins. We will also not use moderator tools to edit our own posts on the public forum. The best moderation is one which the community doesn't notice at all. Our work will help the site to run more smoothly, but if members end up thinking that A2K is just magically immune from spam, porn, and horrible trolls, that’s perfect.

3) Moderators must not disclose any private information

We don't share moderator discussions, IP addresses or any other information that would reveal or highlight the identity or actions of individual users, either on the public forum or in personal messages with anyone.

4) Suspensions should generally be temporary and short

Suspensions or post removals other than obvious spam should be done by administrators or with a moderator consensus, not by a single moderator, and they should be applied consistently from case to case. We do not discuss the reasons why a user was suspended with anyone but the specific user themselves.

5) Moderators should not let their feelings or opinions cloud their decisions

We are only human, but we won't let our agreement or disagreement with opinions, our likes or dislikes of persons, or our feelings about subjects, affect our moderator decisions. Seeking moderator consensus on anything but removing obvious spam helps with this. If an issue concerns ourselves or affects us personally, we will recuse ourselves from any decision. There are also many opinions on how a community should be run and moderators may have different opinions on specific rules or policies but agree to help uphold the community rules.

6) Any legal matters should be directed to the site owners

Any legal matters should be directed to the site owners (i.e. MadLab personnel), since they are the people who will be legally responsible. This includes claims that content posted on A2K constitutes copyright violations, and threats to sue A2K. Moderators should not respond on their behalf.

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