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Rules and Guidelines

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  • Rules and Guidelines

    NGTO Board Rules

    The NGTO Message Boards are a public forum and, while we encourage a free flow of information and ideas on the boards, we also ask that you follow a few basic rules. By using or participating on the NGTO Boards, you agree to the Rules of Conduct as stated below, as well as the NGTO Message Board User Agreement. The NGTO Message Boards are a moderated forum. However, the moderators cannot be everywhere and see everything. If you see something that is against the Board Rules, please report it to one of the Moderators. Note that the moderators have the final say-so in any situation that you report to them. They will evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate action where needed.

    What Is A Moderator?
    Moderators are volunteers who generously give their time to help board users with questions about our sites and boards. They also are the peacekeepers and are here to ensure that all visitors enjoy their stay. This means enforcing the Board Rules and User Agreement.

    What Do Moderators Do?
    Moderators monitor board posts and respond to complaints to keep posting free of undesirable content as described in the Board Rules and NGTO Message Board User Agreement. They enforce the board rules, and can delete posts, edit posts as well as remove any user's ability to visit the boards. If a moderator lets you know you are close to crossing the line, take heed of the warning. Likewise, if your thread was deleted or locked by a moderator, do not repost or unlock the topic. They deserve respect and appreciation for their time.

    If you log onto the NGTO message boards and receive a message that you have been banned, please submit an unban request and wait for an NGTO Board Moderator to get in touch with you. Bans are private matters between the Moderators and person banned and will not be discussed publicly or through third parties. It is not acceptable to return to the boards under another username. If you do, your ban time may be extended.

    What If I Disagree With A Moderator?
    Moderators are not perfect and are only human. Disagreements occur. Try to communicate with them first on a respectful level and settle your disagreement. They are not targets for your obscenities, flames or general insults. If you do not agree with a decision, you are not entitled to start a thread arguing about the verdict or flaming any of the moderators. Any such messages will be removed. This extends to Private Messages and unban requests as well, and you are not entitled to insult moderators via either of these methods. Also note that bans are between the user banned and the moderators, and moderators cannot respond about bans publicly. Any correspondence about ban length and reason will be handled through unban requests. If you feel a verdict is unfair, please contact another Moderator or Board Manager. You are also welcome to contact the Board of Directors, but be prepared to review the Board Rules again and know that BOD is able to verify your accusations. The Board of Directors will not mediate opinion and will only get involved if Board Rules have been violated.

    Following are some things you'll want to keep in mind while posting on the NGTO Message Boards. Please read the rules so you will be familiar with

    .. Stocker verse Native
    All new members are identified as a "Stocker" until they have posted 30 times then they will be automatically switched to "Native".

    .. Copyrighted Material
    NGTO board users agree not to post any material that is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary right without the express permission of the owner(s) of said copyright, trademark or other proprietary right. This includes but is not limited to magazine, book and newspaper scans, television broadcasts and copyrighted photos and pictures.

    .. Flaming, Bashing, and Trolling
    Hate posts and personal attacks will not be tolerated on the NGTO Boards. Treat others on these message boards as you would expect them to treat you. Talking trash about another user or posting topics specifically to provoke a negative response from an individual, a group or an entire community is not acceptable on the NGTO Boards. These posts will be deleted and may result in having the privilege of posting on the boards revoked.
    Board bashing is also not allowed on the NGTO Boards. Please respect the various communities on the NGTO Boards system. If another board is not your favorite, there's no need to complain about it. Simply refrain from visiting it. Board bashing posts will be deleted.

    .. Politics - take it elsewhere!
    Even though there is an off-topic section on NGTO, we do not allow political debates or discussion here. Politics is one of those topics that can get very heated, and political discussions / debates on message board forums rarely stay civil. Because of this, we have made the decision to not allow them here. If you want to debate politics or talk political smack, there are plenty of forums out there that allow it. Now we are not referring to the inevitability of encountering politics while discussing environmental issues related to trout fishing, but rather we are referring to political party politics, government conspiracy theories, why you hate the current administration, etc. If you don't like it, remember one thing: This is a trout fishing forum! As stated, leave your politics at the door!

    .. Profanity
    Offensive language is unacceptable. While we may let you get away with anything you might hear on network television (no, NOT cable) or radio, don't go overboard. Simply editing a few letters with an asterisk or other symbols isn't allowed, either. All letters of an offensive word must be edited out. A simple rule to follow is: "when in doubt, leave it out." You don't have to use excessive profanity to get your point across, and it's usually better to avoid it altogether. Profanity in posts will be edited out. Repeat offenders or those who use excessive profanity may lose the privilege to post on the NGTO Boards.

    .. Spam
    Purposely spamming a message board with senseless, vacuous, or empty messages to gain more stars is highly frowned upon! This includes such things as party posts, chain letters, two-word "I agree" or "me too" responses, continually posting the same topic on a particular board, and posting the same question across several boards.
    On a similar note, participating in spam attacks on the NGTO Boards or planning a spam attack on the NGTO Message Boards or any other Website is unacceptable, and these actions will be reported to your ISP.

    .. Impersonating Other Users / Accessing Another User's Account (a.k.a. Sock Puppetry)
    You may not impersonate another board member or create an account specifically for the purpose of provoking other users. Also, accessing or using someone else's account or attempting to access another poster's account is strictly prohibited. If you engage in this type of behavior, you will be barred from the boards permanently.

    .. Off-Topic Posts
    Okay, so you probably won't get banned for an off-topic post, but c'mon, try to post suitable subjects on each of the appropriate forums. It's probably not a great idea to ask "Anyone seen the latest Star Wars?" in the General Information forum when we have a dedicated off-topic forum just screaming for questions like that. Off-topic posts will most likely be deleted, and further action may be taken against repeat offenders.

    .. Posting Huge Images / Fake Signature Pics
    Out of respect for your modem brethren, please let them know if your thread contains a number of large images. A simple **56kers Beware!** in the subject line will go a long way in helping those who are broadband-challenged know not to open a thread that might bring their web browsing to a crawl. Also, if you must use fake signature pictures, please limit it to one 15k or less image since huge pictures slow down the boards for everyone.

    .. Questionable Content
    Since we can't have a rule to cover everything, this is the rule to, well, cover everything. These are public boards, so act like you would if you were in a public place. NGTO reserves the right to choose the guidelines of objectionable content based on its knowledge of users and company policy. These issues are left to the discretion of the individual moderators, but may include any material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory, misleading, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, racist, sexist, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy or that otherwise violates any law or encourages conduct constituting a criminal offense.
    There are hundreds of posts each day on the NGTO message boards, so we can't always promise you'll receive a warning every time action has to be taken. By registering at the NGTO Message Boards, users agree that any post deemed inappropriate may be removed at the sole discretion of NGTO. NGTO also has the right, at its sole discretion, to revoke board privileges at any time without notice or reason. Think of these rules as a forewarning and, if you break them, you're taking your account status into your own hands.
    Also note that the Board Rules extend to all areas of the NGTO Message Boards system, including but not limited to Private Messages, Signatures, and Unban Requests. This also includes asking for or offering anything against the Board Rules via Private Messages.
    NGTO is not responsible for messages posted on the NGTO Boards or the content therein. Unless expressly stated otherwise, this includes messages posted by NGTO personnel, agents, representatives et al. NGTO reserves the right to reveal the identity of or whatever information we know about any user in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any message posted by said user.
    North Georgia Trout Online, Inc. has the right but not the obligation to monitor and/or moderate the NGTO Boards. North Georgia Trout Online, Inc reserves the right to change any or all other parts of this User Agreement at its sole discretion and without notice, including but not limited to implementing Rules of Conduct, Terms of Service and/or other measures.

    .. Swap and Sell
    The Swap and Sell section of the Forum is established so that private individuals may engage in buying, selling and swapping of personal items. This is the only section of the forum where this activity is appropriate. Users of the Swap and Sell section of the Forum are expected to refrain from making claims about a product which are exaggerated or untrue. When your item sells, please go in and EDIT the thread adding sold to the first post. Do not delete the thread.

    .. Advertising
    Commercial advertising in any form is not allowed on the general forum nor can it be included in Avatars or Signature Areas. This includes, but is not limited to, plugging your commercial website inside a post for any reason other than answering a question, including websites or phone numbers or commercial company names in your Avatar or in Signature Areas. Please continue to surf the web and help members find good deals or information about products, but please leave your personal commercial interest at the door.

    .. Private Messages
    Do not post any private message or private email on the Forum. These messages are intended by the author to be private. Communication of this type may be posted by Administrators of the Forum if they deem it appropriate material for the Forum.

    .. Opinions, Comments, and Statements
    Opinions, comments and statements made or posted by members of the Forum are strictly those of the member. The Forum does not endorse or adopt any message hereon unless posted specifically by Administrators of the Forum. The Forum disclaims any responsibility or liability whatsoever for the content posted to the Forum by its members. The Forum reserves the right to delete any post at any time without notice. All original material posted to this site becomes the sole property of the Forum and may be used in any manner and for any purpose the Forum may choose.

    .. Posting Details about Small / Wild Trout Streams

    The posting of sensitive stream names and details is one of the most contentious subjects with trout fishermen. We ask that you please be wary of and refrain from posting sensitive stream names and information on the message board. Because of their small size and the pressure that even a single angler can place on them, small streams containing wild trout (especially brook trout in Georgia) are considered the most sensitive to publicity.

    Although it may be reasonably argued that there are no secret streams in Georgia that point is not relevant to this notice. The reason NGTO “works” is because members practice respect and restraint toward fellow trout anglers. The enjoyment that NGTO brings to many members can be replaced by irritation if what they consider some of their favorite spots (on any stream, anywhere, as a matter of fact) be broadcast to the public. The administrators of this website support this position and have posted here what was up until this time an unwritten rule concerning the most sensitive of Georgia’s streams.

    If you are in need of information about these particular types of streams, use tact and the privacy features available here such as email and private messaging to contact members about streams you may want to discuss. Many folks are often more willing to share privately what they do not want posted publicly. Remember though, simply because you ask does not mean anybody has to answer. NGTO is a voluntary organization as well as a trout angling community and nobody is required/expected to answer questions they choose not to answer.

    There are other sources of stream information such as several NGTO face to face gatherings where the topic can be discussed. Trout Unlimited functions, the Department of Natural Resources and at least three well known “for profit” publications may all be sources of detailed trout stream information. The other functions that are a wealth of information to trout fishermen seeking information along these lines are trout stream restoration projects. Demonstrate by attending a “stream work project” that you have the best interests of the sport of trout fishing in mind and you will probably receive more info than you could ever use.

    Use of this Board in any manner constitutes acceptance of the rules and of this disclaimer.
    Last edited by Trout8myfly; 11-30-12, 12:17 PM.