The Chainlink

Community Discussion Rules

Version published March 3, 2010

The following rules are the official community policy for members of The Chainlink. All Chainlink members are required to follow these rules.

** These rules were inspired by the NPR Community rules.

Every website and online community has its own set of rules. These are the rules for posting events, forum topics and comments, photos and listings on the Chainlink.  Those that break these rules may be subject to having their comments/photos/posts edited or deleted, and the member may face suspension or banning. Moderators will strictly enforce these rules and threads will be edited to conform to our rules, full stop. While the forum moderators reserve the right to ban and suspend members for particular violations, every violation that requires moderation will result in a strike for the member. Three strikes and you are out, no exceptions.


First and most important rule: IF you can’t be polite, don’t say it. We recognize that many topics will be controversial and the nature of a discussion or online posting is that people will bring to it their own opinions, ideas and background. The general idea is that you can disagree with someone without being disagreeable. The rules of debate help the site function better, and will help keep discussions from deteriorating into attacks. Focus your topics on cycling, and your comments on the topic and position, not on the people making them. This means no personal attacks, name calling, hate speech, aspersions about someone’s mother or background, comparisons to notorious dictators… you get the idea. Under no circumstance should a member post anything that might be considered threatening, harassing, bullying, obscene, pornographic, sexist or racist.


Do not use obscenities. Even if the word is used in normal conversation, or you can find other examples of members using the same word, use of any obscenities will be removed and the member that posted it will receive a strike.  There is no need for a list of which words are obscenities…you know what they are.  This is a public forum for people of all ages, and we want everyone to be able to participate.  Many members check The Chainlink from work, and the use of obscenities may cause the site to be disallowed on work computers.


Do not discuss illegal stuff on here. Duh!


Stay on topic.  If you are responding to a thread, please stay on topic.  While tangents are inevitable part of online discussions, please respect the original topic discussion and do not hijack posts with material irrelevant to the discussion.


Please search before posting. There are many reasons to search the forum before posting a new discussion topic. Topics are often questions that members have, and occasionally other members may have the same question. If the topic has previously been covered, it is important to see the responses that the community has already contributed so that a new forum doesn’t miss a key issue that could be vital to the topic. Do not post redundant threads so that we can keep the site neat and tidy.  Posting before searching is poor netiquette.


Do not ramble. In general anything over a few paragraphs should be very, very interesting and well written in order to be useful to the larger community.


Respect other’s privacy. While we like to learn more about cyclists, their thoughts, background, etc., we expect everyone to respect everyone’s privacy. Do not publish another member’s email, phone or address through the forum.


Marketing is for the Marketplace. While we encourage all users to share their experience and ideas about services and products they have used or bought, this is not an appropriate place for advertising, promotion, campaigning, sloganeering, recruiting, lobbying, soliciting, marketing or proselytizing. At times, whether something is marketing or campaigning or not is a fine line. To that end, please use your best judgment, and we will use ours. Posts that violate these guidelines will be removed.


Do not "feed" the trolls. We encourage community members to report abuse by trolls by emailing, but we also ask that you not engage with trolls in the comment threads. Reacting to their provocations is exactly what they want. If we see you feeding a troll, we will remove both the troll's comments and your responses.


Post new forum topics with the appropriate category. There are three categories, Bikes and Bicycling, General Discussion (Not Bike Related) and Announcements.  Please make sure your topic is appropriately categorized.  Moderators may change categories as required.


Title your Forum thread with a descriptive subject line. And by descriptive, we mean a line that matches the subject of your post. For example, "A Couple Questions" is a BAD thread title, whereas "How do I get from the South Loop to Wheaton?" is better. Essentially, just state the main keywords of your post. It usually helps to compose your post first, and then derive a subject.


Do not use public forums for individual communications. The Chainlink has a link (it's on the right side) for sending individual messages to another member. To send a message, you must be ‘friends’ with one another first. Similarly, if you have comments about The Chainlink generally, please don't use the site discussion threads to air them. We recognize that there are glitches and issues with the site, and we are constantly working to improve the site, but some limitations are related to our host technology. For issues regarding The Chainlink, please write to a moderator directly: Leah, Julie or Lee.


Do not post just for the sake of bumping. If your thread did not get any replies the first time, chances are people don't know the answer and therefore won't be able to answer it the second time. If you really feel your thread got unfairly missed and dropped off the first page, sure, a bump is okay (no drug reference intended), but if we notice an excessive trend of it, you'll be warned.


You are solely responsible for the content you post. The Chainlink is in no way responsible for the content posted by its users. We do not and cannot review all user content posted on the site. However, we have the right (but not the obligation) to review, screen, delete, edit and/or move any content posted on The Chainlink.


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Thank you everyone obeying the rules of the forum and website!


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