The original Rules of Conduct created by Kart have served well over the years, but the Mods felt that some areas need to be clarified and expanded upon.
These new rules are the result of experience and discussion among the admins and mods. Hopefully, they clarify and simplify some issues that have come up.
Despite our best efforts, we realize that no set of rules can completely cover every conceivable circumstance, nor will every poster always agree with our decisions. Be that as it may, we (your GM mods) believe that by expanding and clarifying the rules we will make GM a more pleasant place for everyone.
Please also note that there is very little here that is actually all that new. Mostly we have either clarified Karts earlier rules or put into writing our interpretations of those rules as they were already being enforced.
The Rules as amended begin below:
Welcome to this part of the board which represents the busiest forum on tennisforum.
Please understand that this is deliberately a General Messages Forum and therefore permits a wide breadth of topics of general interest to be discussed.
This is something that has not always been appreciated by posters in the past and hence is being reiterated.
As with all forums, there are some rules that we expect to be followed. They are outlined below.
1. Do not start threads or make posts with the sole intention of bashing a player or a fellow poster, or provoking fights between fans.
Such threads or posts are likely to be closed or deleted and posters that repeatedly post such threads or indeed partake in them are liable to further sanctions.
A degree of freedom to talk about players and express negative opinions about them is obviously permitted on a discussion board but there is absolutely no doubt that posters can engage in such discussion without resorting (for example) to petty name calling. Having said that, there is also no doubt that other posters could be less sensitive to some of the more minor remarks as well.
If you are unhappy with a comment or a thread in this forum, then kindly bring it to a moderator's attention using the report post function. It is up to the forum moderators (sometimes after discussion with one another) to decide whether or not to uphold complaints and what action to take (if any.)
Please understand that reporting a post does not mean it will be deleted or edited. Though obviously, if you make a compelling case with your reason, it is beneficial for everyone to appreciate your point of view.
Any post deemed to contain racist, sexist, homophobic, religiously biased, or otherwise hateful speech will be deleted and immediate action will be taken against that poster. Please note that “racist” shall be construed to include attacks on a poster or player based on their ethnicity or nation of origin. This applies to GM and TF in general.
2. All Getty images posted or attached on this board will be deleted.
Please see here for further details:
2a. Other copyrighted materials, such as articles and blog posts
Copyright laws vary greatly from country to country, but we use the internet standard for citing and linking copyrighted materials from other web sites.
You may quote part of the article in question, then provide a link to the full article. Do not cut and paste the entire article into a post. Please indicate the source of the material in your title and post.
2b. Material created by Forum Members
We are fortunate enough to have a number of professional and talented amateur photographers, illustrators, reporters, etc. who share their work with us on Tennis Forum. For the most part, they have indicated they have no problem with their work being shared within this forum, e.g. if you see a picture in GM and wish to repost it in a players forum, that's fine.
However, please remember that the materials these members create does, in most cases, remain their personal property. Do not use it for your personal blogs, publications, web sites etc. without their permission. Likewise, if you own any of these images or materials and don't like the way they are being used within Tennis Forum, please let us know. Finally, please remember to credit the creator of the material if you use it appropriately.
3. Before posting a thread, please make sure it is in the appropriate section of the board to generate the optimal response.
• Blog entries from a particular player should be posted in the relevant player forum.
• Threads posted from members of one fan base to the same fan base should be posted in the relevant player forum.
• Video / Graphics threads should be posted in the media forum.
• Tournament draws should be posted in the relevant tournament forum - no exceptions, regardless of the size of the tournament.
• Discussions about a particular player's draw can be posted in GM as can discussions about segments of a particular draw (eg. discussion about who will reach quarter finals in a particular draw quarter.)
• Livescores/discussion are to be posted in the Live Scores discussion thread. This means ANY discussion about a match that is currently taking place. Do not open a thread in GM to discuss anything related to an ongoing match. The thread will be closed as soon as it is discovered, even if the match has concluded. See Rule 5 below.
• Result threads from matches can be posted in General Messages Forum - if there are multiple result threads, they will be merged.
• Results threads should remain on topic—introducing players into the discussion who did not play in the match under discussion is grounds for an infraction or worse. There are reasonable exceptions—such as discussing who a player will face next, etc. The mods will use their discretion, and decisions are final.
Current tournaments section:
Previous tournaments section:
Upcoming tournaments section:
4. Threads, posts and pictures about men's tennis are not permitted anywhere on this board. If you wish to discuss the ATP, go to http://www.menstennisforums.com
. References to ATP players are allowed if relevant to discussion of WTA players and events. The moderators and administrators will use their discretion.
5. Any thread that contains livescore posts / discussion that is discovered or brought to a moderator's attention via reported post will be closed without warning and not re-opened.
If you do not want threads on other topics to be closed, do not post livescores or discuss the match whilst it is in progress. This includes cheering or commenting on a way a player is playing during a match. Use the relevant tournament forums for these purposes.
Please note that this rule is now being enforced retrospectively:
• If evidence of live scoring is discovered even after matches are completed, posters will still be liable to further action in the form of an infraction at the first offence.
• This will be followed with a one day suspension from the forum (or more) for repeat offenders.
6. Threads on similar topics will be merged at the moderator's discretion.
It is your responsibility to check if any thread you post does not already have a similar, recent counterpart.
7. In some instances, 'official discussion threads' may be created. You are expected to use them for discussions related to that topic.
A good example of this is the topic of WTA ranking complaints that comes up in this forum repeatedly. Other threads of a similar vein will be created as and when the need arises. Any threads that are posted on the same topic as an existing 'official thread' will be combined with it.
8. If you have a question regarding one of your posts or threads being removed or deleted, or if you have been issued an infraction, the correct course of action is to contact a General Messages forum moderator via private message.
Do not start threads to complain about an action taken by mods/admins in the Bugs/Errors Reporting forum, in GM or any other part of Tennis Forum as they will be closed and you may receive an infraction or suspension. Do not bad rep the moderator/administrator or contact them at their personal email, personal Facebook page, personal web page or other non-Forum medium where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy unless they have given you permission to do so. The general messages forum moderators' remit is to manage this forum and they are the most qualified posters to answer your query or to direct you to someone that can. Please note that you are free to rep any regular post made by a mod/admin where they are acting as a poster and not in a moderator or administrative role (e.g. deleting a post, issuing an infraction, moving a thread, editing a post, etc.)
So do not message every administrator / moderator on this site because you cannot be patient enough to wait for an answer. However, if your query is left unacknowledged (read: unacknowledged, not unanswered) for more than 24 hours, it is reasonable to ask another General Messages moderator to answer it as the person you have contacted may not be around for whatever reason.
A list of forum moderators can be found here:
9. Please acquaint yourself with the FAQ forum and the site rules forum.
The FAQ forum covers topics like how to deal with harrassment, poster banning questions and other issues that are repeatedly asked about on this forum.
The site rules forum covers some of the official rules on multiple accounts and some other important points that posters should be aware of.
10. No Spamming.
Please read our policy on what is considered spamming below:
11. Bumping ancient threads
Bumping old threads with the express intention of aggravating a particular poster or fanbase is considered spamming and will be treated as such. Mods/admins will use their discretion, as there are admittedly sometimes good reasons to resurrect old threads.
Please do not use obscure nicknames in headers. Proper names are preferred for headers and the mods/admins will edit headers as deemed necessary.
Nicknames are a fun part of TF and GM, and it is our policy to allow nicknames that meet reasonable standards.
Nicknames that are excessively rude, sexist, racist, homophobic, insulting to a player’s religious faith, imply illegal use of performance enhancing or other drugs, sexual promiscuity and other such insults will be deleted/edited. Excessive use of such nicknames will be dealt with through warnings and suspensions as deemed appropriate.
Acceptable nicknames may be used freely in posts without penalty.
13. Unsubstantiated allegations
Unsubstantiated allegations of drug abuse, promiscuity, and other behavior are generally frowned on by the mods and could leave this site and its owners liable to legal action. Speculation about a player's private life is not a topic for GM. If a third-party, such as a newspaper, sporting regulatory body or court testimony is cited, the thread or post may be allowed. If the player herself makes a statement, the thread or post may be allowed.
Threads or posts based on your personal opinion about how a player dresses, acts, looks, etc. will be deleted/closed, and you may be subject to warnings or penalties. Please confine your posts on these topics to the suitable threads in nontennis.
Exception: The Interesting Pics/Captions thread, Confrontation threads, and other threads that are intended as obvious humor/satire may be allowed to stand. Please note this exception is made to protect the mods ability to leave such comments when reported. Offering a defense of “But my thread/post was satire so why was it deleted?” will not work. If it was deleted, it failed to meet the standards of the board. There are no “Get Out of Jail Free” cards in GM.
14. The use of the word "bitch"
Use of the word "bitch" is considered sexist and vulgar, especially on a board dedicated to professional women athletes.
We have a bit of a contradictory policy in that, after discussion amongst ourselves, the mods/admins have agreed to allow the use of "Bye Bitch" gifs as they are something of a TF tradition and are, we feel, felt by an overwhelming majority of posters to be used in good humor.
Having said that, our allowance of said gifs DOES NOT allow unrestricted use of the word in reference to players, other posters and in nicknames.
We mods understand that in some social groups the word is not considered offensive. However, GM is just that--a "general" group and it is incumbent on us all to adhere to standards of behavior that a broadly acceptable to everyone. Remember, those same rules apply when someone uses a term that is offensive to YOU, so please show the same courtesy to others.
Certainly, one is entitled to call out bad behavior or criticize a player one considered to be an unpleasant person. But there are plenty of gender-neutral terms for doing so.
15. Bringing up other players in a result thread
Any post bringing up any player other than one of the two involved in the match under discussion in such a way as to provoke a reaction from other posters will be regarded as SPAM. Given the trend in recent months, all such SPAM offenses will be regarded as SECOND OFFENSES. A second offense for spam, per Tennis Forum rules, is an automatic infraction, accompanied by an automatic one-day suspension. Depending on your posting history, the Admins may decide to impose additional penalties. Anyone who RESPONDS to a BAIT post rather than reporting it will ALSO BE REGARDED AS SPAMMING THE THREAD. It will also be regarded as a second offense, and the poster will receive an infraction, a one-day suspension, and be referred to the Admins for possible further action. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS.
The proper response to ANY inappropriate post is to report it and let the mods or admins deal with it. We understand that sometimes you may not get instant action, or that the mods will not always see things your way, but we do attempt to respond as quickly as possible.
It is not the responsibility of members to police GM. Responding to inappropriate posts with equally inappropriate rejoinders is considering escalating and is subject to the same punishments as initiating a problematic post or thread (see Rule 1).
“But s/he started it” is no excuse for inappropriate behavior.
17.Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse
You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with the rules of both TF and GM. “I didn’t know the rule” is not an excuse.
Likewise, if a moderator posts a warning in a thread about behavior and issues a punishment, it’s not a free pass if you missed the warning. These warnings are invariably a reiteration of the established rules for TF and GM.
18. Moderators exercise their discretion where appropriate.
All moderators on this forum give up their free time to try and make this place run a bit more smoothly. Please understand this fact before engaging them even if it makes no difference to you. It is not a plea for sympathy, simply a statement of fact.
I mention this because, although there is a degree of acceptance from all moderators that they will have to deal with disgruntled posters, there is no reason why said posters can't approach moderators without being threatening or abusive.
None of us are above criticism or feedback (which can sometimes be difficult to stomach and / or unconstructive) but that doesn't translate to a complete forfeit of the right to be addressed with a degree of civility.
With that in mind, the administrators will no longer tolerate perpetual harrassment or repeated abuse of forum moderators by any individual or groups of posters.
By regularly reading the reported posts and discussion in the moderator forum, the general messages moderators are more likely to be aware of the mechanics of several posters' issues, interactions, behaviour, conflict, prior conduct etc. They will also appreciate the finer points of the general messages dynamic as they are looking at it from a different perspective.
As a result of this, they do have some experience and knowledge that registered users don't have and may use it to influence decisions that they make.
It is appreciated that posters may not agree with or understand some of those decisions. That is your right and there is no doubt that mistakes are made by all of us at times.
You are welcome to appeal a decision via private message to the a general messages forum moderator as outline above. When this happens, the moderator will usually seek a second opinion in the moderator forum and, if necessary, reverse a decision after discussion.
However, what should be clear to you all is that unpopular decisions need to be made at times. Though none of the moderators are interested in antagonising anyone, there will always be occasions when posters, though they are entitled to ask questions, do not get the answer they wanted.
This is a reality of posting on an internet message board that is best accepted as it will not change.