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Official TP Rules, Policies, & Guidelines
OFFICIAL TALK PARROTS RULES, POLICIES AND GUIDELINES
(last updated by Abby 8/14/2014)
If you are new, the Talk Parrots staff would like to warmly welcome you to the forum! We are glad you have decided to join us and we hope you enjoy your stay. If you are not new, we'd like to let you know we appreciate your participation and dedication to the forum, and we love you lots!
Grab your coffee, get comfortable in your chair, and onto the rules we go!
I have just rewritten, reorganized and added details to all the rules that had been previously posted by a previous moderator Oni (Layla) as I feel they really need to be updated and everyone needs to be reminded they exist!
Our goal for this forum is to be a welcoming, friendly and informative place for bird owners and lovers to chat, make friends, and learn! To make sure our forum stays appropriate and things run smoothly, we have specific guidelines in place for you. As a member and participant of TP, we ask that you abide by these rules. We also ask that you read the rules before you post! Some of these may be common sense, or may be ideas you are already familiar with. However, it's better to be safe than sorry! We take the rules seriously here and as a member it is YOUR responsibility to be familiar with them before engaging in discussions and activities.
There are various consequences for members who do break rules, especially if it is done knowingly. This includes warnings, certain restrictions for you specifically, temporary bans, and even life-long bans, all depending on the seriousness of your actions.
Let's get started!
1.) OUR VERY IMPORTANT AND TALK PARROTS-SPECIFIC KINDNESS POLICY
Our most important policy here is to be kind, always! It's a rule that I myself live by, but it is also something that the staff members have always agreed on encouraging here. We believe this forum has always been unique in that the members have formed a very welcoming, friendly atmosphere, one in which nobody is harshly judged, bashed, or talked down to. It is our goal to keep it that way as best we can. We want members to be able to come here and feel comfortable, not to feel judged or feel surrounded by enemies. You are on the internet, so yes, you are behind a computer screen and not with the members in person, but that does not mean you should treat people any differently than how you would treat them in person. If anything, you should treat the members here even better. They are strangers. Most times you know very little about these people. Everyone has their own opinions and that need to be respected. The members all have different origins, customs, backgrounds, upbringings, religions, cultures, political views, experiences, skills, knowledge - the list could go on and on! Therefore, it shouldn't be too surprising that not everyone is going to always agree with you, see things the same way as you, etc. Just remember that we are all different and we should really appreciate and respect that in everything we do here. Be polite. We suggest that you always reread what you type, and make sure it does not come across as rude or demeaning in anyway.
All in all, we do not tolerate ANY rudeness, name-calling, bashing/attacking, or cruelty towards other members.
Don't get us wrong, we do not discourage debating or discussions where opposite views are discussed. These kinds of talks can be a wonderful way to learn. We just don't want overly heated arguments. We don't want too many negative emotions stirred and we don't want any feelings to be hurt ever - we ask that it remains overall friendly. If you don't think you can politely debate (as I know some people can get easily heated) just avoid them completely. We also highly suggest that you take everybody's opinions and views into consideration when debating. Debates are an excellent way to learn, so feel free to put forth your ideas, but of course be open to learning from others' comments, too!
A last and more personal thought from myself on the subject of being kind - I've personally talked to many people about their thoughts on various forums and their members and their rules. I always put forth my opinion about always be as kind as possible, and many agree with me, but I have heard a lot of people say you shouldn't always "sugar-coat" things. You don't necessarily have to sugar-coat anything. That's fine, BUT that isn't an excuse to be mean. Ever! I understand, for example, if you see a member post a picture of a bird in, say, a very unsafe situation, or in an extremely dirty cage, or eating something unhealthy or even poisonous, that your first reaction will be to warn the member, and you may feel anger toward the member or anxiety because you are concerned about that bird. But, as I stated earlier, you must keep in mind all the possible differences there can be between you and this other member. Don't be quick to judge anything or anyone. Maybe they aren't aware it is an unsafe situation, as they've never had a problem with it before or are inexperienced. Maybe they are about to clean that dirty cage because they've been on vacation and haven't had the chance to yet, or maybe (an extreme, but still a possibility) they have some sort of mental problem/disorder/situation, something that makes things like properly caring for a bird difficult, something might not be connecting in their brain. Who knows? Not you. Therefore, you shouldn't immediately tell them off or consider them a bad bird owner or person. By all means, warn them!! Warn them, and inform them about the dangers of what's happening in that photo as properly and correctly as you can. Especially if you think it is urgent! But don't be rude about it, especially if the member is new to the forum or to birds. If you see someone constantly posting inappropriate/wrong photos, and they've already been warned and are disregarding what you or other members may be telling them, or you think they may purposefully be trying to do harm, it may be best to contact a staff member. Do not try to deal with them on your own as it could easily get out of hand. We of course encourage proper care and treatment of birds, so pointing out one's "mistakes" is not wrong as long as you aren't mean about it.
This has been a novel-long description of the policy, and I personally apologize for the nonstop blabbing, but I hope that it shows you how much of a value kindness is for us here. It makes for a more enjoyable and optimistic forum overall. It separates us from many forums. Many of us know how it feels to be bashed or attacked on the internet, and everyone knows how that feels in person. It doesn't feel very good at all, we don't want anyone to feel like that! The forum is here for you to learn, make new friends, and have a good time. That can't be achieved with constant negative posts being thrown all over. So, be kind, ALWAYS!
2.) LANGUAGE Firstly, always speak in English. This is an English-speaking forum, and most of the members here only speak English. If you write out anything in another language, a majority of the forum will not understand, and more importantly, the staff will be unable to understand, and therefore will not be able to moderate the post.
3.) SPAM AND TROLLING Obviously, do not spam or troll. Posts unrelated, innapropriate, advertising, there to annoy or upset members, are not allowed, and will immediately be removed followed by removal of member or serious consequence.
4.) HARASSMENT Harassment and bullying of any kind is not acceptable, through private messaging or in posts, and we may even attempt to take action if it is towards a member outside of the forums as well. (Depends on the situation.) We take this very seriously, as it can really affect a person outside the forum as well. This can even result in contacting the authorities. If you are being harassed AT ALL IN ANY WAY, let a staff member know immediately!!
5.) REPRESENTING TALK PARROTS OUTSIDE THE SITE We want the site to be looked at in a positive way, and we want to encourage others to join! Please do not make negative comments or reviews about TP outside the site, or discourage strangers or even friends not to join. Something that you may not like about our forum or find upsetting here may not bother others, and we'd like everyone to form their own opinion about our forum by joining themselves. You may advertise and we encourage you to encourage others to join us. Say as many positive things as you'd like! Just try not to make us look bad, that includes breaking other forums rules to advertise, or annoying people with links to our site, anything like that. We will address this if we see you doing this outside the forum and have proof that it's you. Another thing I should add is even referring to us negatively without saying our name specifically but referring to this forum is really looked down upon. I've seen it happen before. A member from this forum had posted on another bird forum and referred to specific thread here, talked down about it/complained about it, but didn't mention our name specifically. That's not right or fair in our opinion, and perhaps some people from that forum will know what your referring to.
6.) PROPER POST STRUCTURE / GRAMMAR Make your threads and posts appealing and easily understandable. We discourage excessive and unnecessary punctuation (like this!!!?!?!?!?!). We also discourage excessive and unnecessary capitalization ("MY BIRD IS SO COOL! I LOVE HIM! HE IS THE BEST BIRD EVER!") We highly encourage you to spell everything as correctly as you can (use spell check if necessary!), and include proper punctuation such as commas and periods so your post and intentions are easily understood by everyone. And although we are an English-speaking forum and require you to post in English, people from other countries may be viewing as well, and we'd like them to understand what's being said, so try not to make things too complicated, if you can You won't be banned for using big words, of course (that would be silly!), but simply keep in mind who may be reading. I personally have met several people from non-English-speaking countries here.
7.) KEEPING LANGUAGE APPROPRIATE No cursing/cussing/inappropriate words, language or phrases as we are a "PG-rated" forum. You must be 13 or older to join the forum legally (so leave the forum now if you are under 13!), but some people are more sensitive to certain words/phrases/etc. than others, no matter what age, and we need to respect that and stay polite. If you are unsure whether something is considered inappropriate here, simply don't use it, or ask a staff member. We will appreciate that you came to us first and gladly advise you!
8.) THREAD TITLES When creating a title for your thread, try to avoid titles such as "question" or "birds" or "need advice" or "photos". Instead, use titles such as "teaching my parrot to step up" or "photos of my GCC, Dexter!" The more descriptive your title is, the easier it is for members to navigate to a post they are interested in or may be able to give advice on. Besides, too many thread names turn out to be too simple and constant "I need help" titles can become a little annoying to regular members!
9.) FORUM CATEGORIES Post your thread in the proper forum category. For example, don't post a thread about selecting a cage in the food and diet forum, or disease in the training forum. This keeps everything organized and helps members navigate the website better. The categories are there for a reason; if you are unsure where a topic should go, ask us!
10.) BUMPING THREADS Don't make a post under a thread to simply "bump" the thread to the top of the list for more attention. This can get annoying and is simply unnecessary. If, perhaps, you've posted a question about a certain topic and nobody has responded to it, and you need or would really like an answer, you can comment and say something more meaningful such as "I have tried doing this but it's not working and I have not received any replies. Is there anybody who knows more about my topic and can help? Any advice is appreciated!" That is perfectly acceptable. But wait a reasonable amount of time before posting something like that. Members may not be very active at the time you posted the question, so give them time to make their replies. Simple posts such as "bump" or "need answers" or "please respond" is not okay.
11.) GIVING PROPER CREDIT Be sure that pictures or texts that are not yours is given proper credit, whether it is officially copyrighted or not. It can be a serious offense if it is copyrighted, but it is also polite to give credit to the author. Link to the original source and/or state who and where it is from.
12.) GIVING OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION Any user under 18 years old is not allowed to post ANY personal information. This includes your home address, work location or address, phone numbers, full name (first name is fine), names of family members, location other than your country, age, or anything that could lead someone to figure out who you are. This includes private messages. Also do not post pictures of yourself. This is for your safety! To those who are over 18, we discourage sharing too much personal information. This is the internet, and althought most of us have good intentions, you never know who may not. Use your absolute best judgement!
13.) INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT / TOPICS Keep post content and topics appropriate. This is a PG-rated forum, and certain topics may make members feel uncomfortable or stir emotions. You are not to discuss politics, religion, and overall any extremely controversial subjects. Use your best judgement, if you think the topic may make someone feel uncomfortable or upset, just don't post it, even if it's in the off-topic section.
14.) ADVERTISING YOUR BUSINESSES, ETC. We do not allow advertising businesses. If you want to write a review on a product or place that you think may be helpful for others, and you are the consumer, that's okay, but plainly advertising to increase your sales or customers, etc. is not. This includes posts and signatures, as well as private messages. If you would like to promote or advertise your own parrot-related business, contact a staff member first and we will let you know if it is okay. If you are a regular member, you will probably be granted permission. But if you are only here to advertise, you won't. And even if you are given permission to do so, please do not advertise excessively, limit what you post about it. When it comes to advertising your parrot-related blogs or websites (non-competing forums) that do not sell anything, you may include it in your signature if you would like, but again, not excessively. You may dedicate a thread to it if you'd like, but only one if possible and in the off-topic category.
15.) FUNDRAISING Because of liability issues, we do not allow you to fund raise or post links to fundraising of any kind. As much as we would love to help you raise money to save a bird, donate to a rescue, etc., we just can't allow it here. Best of luck to your cause, though!
16.) COMPETING FORUMS You are not allowed to advertise, post about, or mention the names or links of other competing forums, such as bird/parrot forums. It is pretty obvious as to why; we'd like to keep our members! This includes in your signatures, posts and PM's. Also, we don't in anyway discourage you from joining other competing forums. It's a good way to learn more, make more friends and have more fun. We just ask you don't refer to them on ours.
17.) NEGATIVE COMMENTS ON SPECIFIC PRODUCTS, BUSINESSES, AND PEOPLE Let's say you have a poor experience with a certain product or business, feel free to make a polite post describing your experience and proper explanation on what happened. Emphasis on polite! You may have a bad experience with it, but that doesn't mean it's always that way for the product or business, you never know and we don't want to influence people wrongly. It's okay for you to warn others, but don't be rude, don't call the business or product names or become overly angry and mean about it. What we absolutely don't allow is bashing on specific people or groups of people. Especially not specific people. Do not give out specific names and say bad things about them, especially not members. An opinion is just an opinion and this is the internet - anyone can see what you post! On the off-chance that person comes across that post, think of how they'll view you, or the forum as a whole! It's also plainly mean to talk about someone behind their back.
18.) GENERAL UNSAFE PRACTICES We do not allow posting about anything illegal or unsafe, even non-bird-related, as it could possibly encourage others to do these things and may result in someone getting injured, hurt, in trouble, etc. Always think before you post.
19.) INAPPROPRIATE BIRD PICTURES When it comes to posting pictures of birds, we do not allow pictures of birds with other animals (especially animals considered predators), birds outside without a harness or without being in a cage, or pictures of birds in any kind of possibly unsafe situation. We are not necessarily telling you that these things are totally right or wrong. That is your opinion and is at your discretion with your bird in your own home. However, because unfortunate things are known to happen often because of these practices, we do not allow them as they may encourage other members that it is totally okay, possibly resulting in something bad happening to their birds. There are some forums and places on the internet where these pictures are allowed so remember that they are not allowed here. We are trying to keep everyone's birds as safe as possible!
20.) MEMBERS ENFORCING RULES We ask that you don't excessively enforce rules on other members or be bossy. If you'd like to kindly remind a member of a rule, that's okay. But we prefer you report the post or inform a staff member instead. We ask this because you there may be an instance you are wrong, we don't want incorrect information about rules being posted, and sometimes the way we address or whether we address the certain rule that may be broken at all is at the discretion of the staff. Besides, you don't want to be viewed as that bossy member!
21.) REPORTING MEMBERS AND POSTS As staff, we try our hardest to moderate and oversee all posts and content. However, we have lives outside the forum, too, and if we may miss something, we encourage you to report it or message us! If you click on the report icon, what you say in your report and the link to the specific post will be reported to all staff members, so it is very convenient. In addition, if you have concerns about a member or topic that you feel we should know about, even if it's not quite breaking a rule, we encourage you to message us or let us know somehow. We want you to be comfortable and enjoy your time here, and if you are made uncomfortable or upset and would like to bring attention to it, please message us. The staff members here are all very understanding and kind, we don't bite; we won't judge you or ignore you or put you down. All concerns will be kept in confidence.
22.) THE STAFF'S DECISION IS FINAL! Even if you do not agree with us, once we come to our final decision, it is usually final. We ask that you do not argue with us. We will try to be fair and keep in mind everyone's feelings, we will try not to be biased, have favorites, or let our feelings or personal opinions get in the way of being completely fair to everyone. Please respect us and what we decide. We always have the best interest of the forum in mind.
I believe I've covered everything. Maybe I have covered too much, LOL. I have personally spent hours rewriting these rules, organizing and including details on what is acceptable and what is not. In fact, I was made fun of by my family for being glued to the screen and typing away for so long! I apologize in advance for this extremely long thread. As much as I'd like you to read everything thoroughly, I won't be offended if you just skim through this, as long as you are familiar enough with all the rules and of course follow them. You can always refer to this thread if you are questioning something, read it in further detail, and feel free to message the staff if you are unsure.
I'd also like to remind everyone that we reserve the right to change or add to these rules at anytime as we feel necessary, with or without warning, and you are still expected to follow them at all times, and there will be consequences made at our discretion if you do not. If we do make a change or add anything, we will try our best to let you know, especially if it is important and may affect how or what you post.
I know this is a lot to take in and read, but do your best to read and follow them! We are always open to suggestions and comments regarding the forum, let us know about those too if you have any.
IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ! Since this is a brand new and updated version of the rules, we now require that you go to the following linked thread and let us know that you are fully aware of all the rules, will do your best to follow them all and will possibly have consequences for your inappropriate actions. Please post only once in this thread, stating you have read and agree. If you have additional comments about the rules (preferably not any specific suggestions or criticism, we'd prefer you message us personally about those concerns), include it in your agreement post, do not make any additional posts in there, and no discussions there. This is to keep it organized. Please DO NOT agree if you haven't looked through this thread! We require all members to reply to that post stating they agree, and we trust you have actually read this. If we notice you specifically haven't agreed but have been online and posting elsewhere, we will do our best to remind you to do so in a private message or other form of communication.
Agreement thread: https://www.talkparrots.com/showthrea...881#post258881
Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this, it is appreciated!
Thank you so much for reading and we truly hope you enjoy your time here on Talk Parrots! Have a great day, we hope to see you around the forums!
DIGBY 4-year-old male Congo African Grey