Help Contents

A Crash Course on Forums
Why are we here?
Upset by a post?

The Forum Rules
Summary
Netiquette

Unacceptable Content
Racism, etc..
Foul Language
Bogus Content
Private Conversations

Complaining
About Businesses
Overseas Purchasing
About People
Legal Threats

Personal Gain
Business
Non-Business
Pimps
Social Networks

Posting Errors

The Moderators
Highlight content
Why was I moderated?
Deletions
Duplicate Logins
Zero Tolerance
Why was I suspended?
Bad moderator!

The final word


The Seabreeze Forums Crash Course

Why does this place even exist?

Everyword here follows on from why the forums are here - the spirit and intent of the site.

These forums are here to create a meeting place for people who care about our sports. We want to improve, we want to know how to fix gear, how to use the gear, the best conditions, where those conditions are, what gear works best where .. and of course, we all want to meet people with similar interests.

In this environment, people are friendly and helpful to each other. We all stand on each others shoulders to reach higher, achieve more and have more fun.

Our sport is our recreation. It's what we do for fun - it's not about getting all serious and upset, there's enough of that in the stuff we do for money.

For years, the forums have been, and continue to be a success - friendships have been made, meetings on the beach organised, events attended, accomodation offered to travelling members, beaches saved through petitions, territorial disputes settled pages of shared knowledge created, and so much more.

It aint' always blue sky...

Occasionally, a post or topic with inappropriate content will appear. It may stay online longer than it should while we get to it. Whilst this is happening we appreciate your patience. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know via the voting mechanisms explained later.

Please understand that our moderators are not pyschic or even online 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, so there will always be the possibility that inappropriate content will be viewable longer that we would all hope.

There will be members who are different and post questionable content. Why?

Maybe they are drunk, tired and/or emotional?
Maybe they're stressed and are not being themselves?
Maybe they feel anonymous and believe they won't be caught out?
Perhaps they're blunt, direct or simply rub you up the wrong way?
Perhaps they're injured and frustrated?
Perhaps there is an issue that's 'emotionally loaded' for them?
They might enjoy stirring others up?
...or it could just be the way they are all the time!

It's for these situations that rules are needed.
It's for these situations that moderators are needed.

Unfortunate ... but to be expected .. it's part of the territory.

Tips to handle posts that upset you.

Beware of seeing what you want to see. A common mistake people make is to read a post with the emotion they are currently feeling, not the emotion of the writer.

Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.

Could there be a slightest weeniest smallest possibility that you may have made an error? Unbelievable as it may sound, some of us do make mistakes!

Basic Rule: Have the courage to step away. Go do something different before getting all fired up on the keyboard.

The Seabreeze Forums Rules

No game will work without rules. By creating a login on Seabreeze, you hereby agree to abide by these rules. Breaching these rules can result in post or topic deletion and continued breaches can result in your login being either temporarily suspended or permanently banned.

The Rules Summary

* Be friendly
* Be helpful
* Show respect for others
* Be part of the community
* Help others be better
* Help keep topics, on topic
* No abuse, insults or personal attacks
* No foul language
* No trolling
* No inappropriate or illegal material
* No "For Sale" or "Wanted to Buy"
* No business advertising
* No cross posting
* No forum spamming
* No hijacking topics or trolling
* No religious or political debates
* No defamatory comments
* No duplicate logins
* No surveys
* No complaints about moderation (email us instead)

General Netiquette

* Avoid Sarcasm and dry humour. It does not work with the written word. Putting a smiley after a nasty piece of text doesn't fix it.

* Disagree? - discuss the subject, not the person. If you goal is to win them over to your point of view, provide evidence why your point of view is worthwhile adopting. Be constructive and forward moving.

* Make topic titles interesting - they make or break whether your post gets read.

* A large audience will see your post, and your words may come back to haunt you. This audience may potentially include past, present and future employers, staff at your place of study, friends, family, etc. And unlike the spoken word, your written posts will exist here for a long time.

* If you are responding to someone else's comments, try to include a quote or summary of their post, to provide context to other readers. Quoting more than 10 lines is a bit much.

* If you want to take a topic offline and write a personal response, please use the "Private Message" facility - an Email button is available on each post, or by clicking on the members name.

* Do not start or perpetuate flame wars. If someone insults or attacks you, do not respond in kind - because "they started it" is an incredibly lame argument

* DON'T USE OTHERS BEHAVIOUR AS AN EXCUSE FOR YOUR BEHAVIOUR. If we had a dollar for each person who wrote in "how come I can't do it when so and so is doing it?" There are plenty of reasons, the point is, just because you see someone else breaking the rules does not give you the right to break them and use others actions as your justification.

Unacceptable Content


Racism, Sexism, Ageism and Religious Intolerance and Vilification
Seabreeze is open to people from any race, gender, physical or mental condition, sexual preference/orientation, IQ, age or religion, and as such intolerance or vilification of other people's beliefs, culture, IQ, gender, physical or mental conditions, sexual preference/orientation or age is unacceptable.

Foul Language (Swearing)
Seabreeze is a web site open to all ages, and we aim to have it stay that way. As such, the use of foul language is considered to be unacceptable.

For the sake of the younger visitors to our site, please refrain from swearing.
In order to prevent casual swearing, Seabreeze filters the most inappropriate swear words.

Smarty Pants Swearing

Please also note that swearing which is contextually understandable, e.g. removing a letter, replacing letters with @,*  or other characters, or changing the spelling slightly, will also be moderated.

Moderation of Foul Language

The following points outline the basic moderation policy regarding foul language on Seabreeze, and applies to posts, usernames, quips, and any other content on Seabreeze:

* Content containing "heavy weight" swear words, specifically the F & C words, are completely inappropriate on Seabreeze. All content containing such words - hidden or not - will be removed.

* Content containing lesser swear words will not normally be moderated, provided the words are used sparingly (e.g. once in a post), and the content is otherwise on topic and useful. Use of such words in reoccurring content (usernames etc) is always inappropriate.

* Content with swear words that are used in the context of a personal attack/insult will be removed, not necessarily because of the foul language, but for being a personal attack. This also goes for all those non-swear words insults like "fool", "idiot", etc.

Inappropriate Content

Inappropriate Content is considered to be any topic that would be unacceptable in a talk to a Year 8 class. This includes (but is not limited to) any of the following:

- Sex and sexual acts;
- Violence and acts of cruelty to other humans or animals;
- Pictures of gore, violence, pornography or innappropriate nudity;
- Illegal behaviour;

Private Conversations

The posting of private correspondence (PM's, emails, etc) or transcripts of private conversations (phone calls, face-to-face discussions) are not permitted, for two reasons:

1. There is no way to verify the validity of the text; and
2. There may be copyright implications arising from the publication of such private communication, in a public forum, without permission of both parties.

Public announcements (such as ISP mass mail outs, etc) are considered already in public view, and are thus considered fair game for re-posting. In cases where such an announcement is made on a website, posting the URL is preferred to posting the complete text.

Offensive Websites
Seabreeze is open to people of all races, religion and ages, so links to websites containing offensive or unacceptable material, such as foul language, inappropriate images (images of a violent or pornographic nature), racial vilification (hate sites), warez links, etc., are completely unacceptable.

Complaints about a business/associations

When this occurs, the poster is usually quite fired up and emotional. Often the customer is now out to cause as much damage as possible to the business with the mission that they are "fully justified" (their words) and "simply stating facts" (their words) about the business/association.

This may be the case .. or not. There are many sides to any story. The point is that the Seabreeze forums are not the appropriate place to resolve the issue. Go to the appropriate legal/government authority and do it there.

Choose not to, and end up in hot water. As soon as you flame a business, you'll usually get supporters of the business come out in defence and question your behaviour and motives. People interested in the discussion will seek more information from you. It soon descends into an argument containing many and varied versions of the truth and everybody goes home unhappy.

It has never ended well for anybody.

The business is damaged, the poster now has a stigma in the forum community (and now can't deal with many shops because the shops know what will happen if they cross this customer - their business will get dragged through the mud.)

And of course, there's also the situation when the poster does not really have a complaint, but is simply a competitor or naive associate of a business who thinks the way to get more business is to degrade the competition.

A special note: This applies (and has been applied) to any business, not just businesses that sponsor the site.

Overseas Purchasing / Why are we so ripped off / Buying Deals

In this case the poster has discovered he can buy an item overseas cheaper than in a shop here in Australia. Now they want to share this with everybody, and also want to infer that because the price is different that "Australian businesses are ripping us all off".

Posts of this nature will be locked/or removed as they always stir up bad vibes and arguments. Like clockwork, pro-shop crew come out versus the anti-shop crew, and it's on, and has never ended well. Ends up being just a bunch of angry people arguing over a $100 difference. It's not been worth it, and everybody goes home unhappy, so we nip it in the bud before it starts.

Complaints about an individual

Here's an idea - talk to them directly, or send them a PM. There is absolutely no need to post a message looking for support of your dislike/disapproval of somebody. Please seek an alternate outlet, not the forums.

Why? All you need to do is imagine your response if you log-on one day and see your name as the topic of a post, followed by 8 posts by strangers dissing your behaviour. Like 9 out of 10 people, you would write to us to have it removed.


Posts for Personal or Financial Gain

For Sale and Wanted to Buy

Please use the embedded buy & sell to list your gear, not the forums. This also means not posting links to sites that are selling your equipment.

Commercial Advertising

Some forum members are site sponsors, you'll see a "Site Sponsor" link under their name. These members have purchased banner advertising which they use to display their brand and make offers about products and services they have available.

These businesses are essential to keeping Seabreeze online. Our forums are the discussion zone of a highly competitive industry, and we do our best to enable sponsors to have a say and discuss things of interest while maintaining a fair environment for all. It can be hard for sponsors to have a say, as there are people waiting in the wings to provide commentary on their posts.

Therefore we ask that all businesses:

* Use the News system for product announcements

* Use the Events system for demo days

* Do not post links to their website,

* Do not post prices, price lists, sale brochures, bargains, "stock clearance" etc.

* Do not post competitions/links to competitions/promo days

All of these things are can be performed through the banner, the News system or the Events system. If these don't suit, please contact us to discuss alternative solutions.

There will be times when a member is explicitly asking where to purchase an item, or for specific product information, and in these situations its ok for sponsors to provide answers.

When sponsors do post, we ask that you give them some latitude. If you're concerned that a sponsor may be ruining your experience of the forums, please contact us first, rather than flaming the poster.

If we find businesses, associates/team riders of businesses flaming, degrading other businesses/products, moderation and possibly immediate banning will result.

Not a site sponsor, but want to promote your goodies?

You'll find your local council has laws saying that it's illegal for you to stick posters and advertising on council property - "Bill posters will be prosecuted". Most businesses accept this and don't put their posters and stickers all over signs, traffic lights, bridges, tunnels, etc.

Same here - please do not plaster your adverts/promos in/around the site - please contact us via the feedback page to find out how we can work out together to find a solution for you.

If you see another business advertising, this is not a valid excuse for you to do so. Do you steal because someone does?

Using Seabreeze to advertise other sites (be it your own site, or that of a friend, etc), is not acceptable. Posting about such sites or sending unsolicited PM's about such sites is unacceptable.

Please note that Seabreeze members are a highly suspicious lot who can smell advertising a mile away, so if there is even a hint that your post is just poorly disguised advertising, be prepared to have your post removed and/or for the linked site to be torn to pieces from a review perspective.

Inappropriate posting of business advertising will be removed.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is when people are employed (or given equipment "in kind") to promote a company and its products and not revealing their connection to the company and/or products. They also register multiple logins, or enlist associates to engage in a "Question & Answer" session, where the associate asks questions about a brand to setup the other to provide knowledgeable advice (and therefore marketing)

There is also the reverse, where people getting financial reward from a competing product ask leading questions of a competitors products to make it look bad in the hope that it will make their product more appealing. These people go out of their way to directly highlight flaws, or, on occasion, even invent flaws and myths.

It's not illegal, is usually see-through, and can result in angry feelings by those who believed the mystery posters were "ordinary customers". It is particularly dissappointing when these people take time out to degrade competitors and/or competing products via single line posts such as "You wouldn't catch me buying that." type of comment.


These activites are directly against the forum rules and counts as spam.

The common name for such a member (who indirectly promotes their own product) is a Pimp.

If you suspect a member of being a pimp, please let the moderators know, as targeting them is against the rules and makes you subject to moderation (which was not your intent!)

Please refrain from making accusations against companies or individuals within the forums.

Note that occasional positive comments from known members have never been a problem.

Social Networks

Yay! You've got so excited about your sport, that you've gone and created a new facebook group. You're keen to spread the word, and get as many "Likes" as you can .. there's something new!

Pretty much every other week, some enterprising soul does the above, and enthusiastically enters the forums and posts away about how everybody should join their new facebook group, because it's new, and we can share stuff, and it's great, and we can talk, and we can share photos, and ... and .. and ... ummm .. sorry to interrupt your flow of passion, but isn't that what the forums are all about?

Take a breather and realise that you're going to look a bit silly. Everybody here is already having a great chat, and you coming in and telling everybody that they should be chatting somewhere else in an empty room you've just "created" may look a bit silly.

People have been sharing and helping each other in the Seabreeze forums since before facebook was started, so do yourself a favour and get involved locally - contribute, not dilute. Help make the forums are better place, don't tell everybody to go to your "took 30 seconds to create New Social Group", it's embarrassing!

As one person put it, it's like walking into a pub, and yelling out "Hey everybody! A new American pub has opened down the road, and I just booked a table - everybody come with me .. and tell all your friends too!!" .. poor form!

Posting Errors

Crossposting

Posting the same Topic in more than one forum Category is not appropriate. If you can't decide which forum to post it a particular Topic in, just choose the one that most closely matches and see how you go. If you don't think you are getting the right answers, ask a moderator to move the Topic to a more appropriate location at some later point.

Please note that posting new Topics in multiple forums saying "Come look at Topic <insert link here>" is not permitted, and is also considered crossposting.

Duplicates

Sometimes minor glitches can result in a member's post appearing more than once in a topic. Duplicate posts are sometimes removed, but if a member notices that they have posted a duplicate, they should feel free to edit one of them to indicate that a double post occurred.

Off-topic

Ideally, all posts in a given topic should have at least something to do with the topic. Having said that, some topics do have a natural discussion flow to them, which may move the discussion in different directions - while still maintaining a relationship to the topic.

Posting off topic may result in your post being removed, particularly if your post stands out as being off topic compared to the other posts in the topic, or if your post stands to interfere with a line of otherwise on-topic conversation within the topic.

Off-topic Topics

It is also possible for a topic to be considered off-topic for the forum in which it has been posted.

In such cases the topic will normally be moved to a more appropriate forum, or if no appropriate alternative is available, the topic may be deleted.

The Moderators

Moderators have task of monitoring the content of the forums. They aim to read all topics and posts and make assessments on what is and isn't appropriate. Did you know that Moderators are real people? They suffer from late nights, emotional issues (good & bad), and can often speed read topics. What this means is that they aren't some automated perfect computer program that makes the right call every time.

Moderators can delete posts, delete topics, move topics, modify topic titles, close topics to prevent further discussion and remove offensive language from posts.

Moderation is a very "grey" area. For example, a group of 16 year olds who have started their own topic may be having a friendly banter amongst each other, whereas to others to reads like a full on argument.

Alerting the Moderators of inappropriate content

Above each post is a voting system of thumbs up and thumbs down. Simply place your vote to indicate if the post should be pulled.

You'll often see voted posts remaining, competitors often vote other businesses/products down. It may have a large number of thumbs up and thumbs down.

The important thing is that all posts that have a thumbs down indicator are investigated by the moderators. With buckets of new posts entering the system every day, it makes it easy for the moderators to zoom in on inappropriate posts as voted by the forum users. Allow the moderators time to respond. If you're all stirred up about a post, this doesn't mean that a moderator is sitting around awaiting your report so it can be investigated.

Moderation Explanations

Please do not start a new topic asking why a topic was moved, deleted or closed, or why a post was hidden. If you want to know why, PM a moderator, please do not ask the community.

Post Deletion Policy

Posts can and will be deleted if they breach any of the forum rules.

If you believe there was an error, please contact the moderators. The moderators are only human, and are open to suggestion.

Topic Deletion Policy

Typically, topics are deleted when they breach the forum rules, by falling into one of the following categories:

- Pointless - the topic contributes no value to the forum;
- Crosspost - the topic was posted to more than one forum;
- Flame baiting - the goal of the topic is to flame or start a fight;
- Duplicate - there is already a topic on the same or very similar topic;
- Off topic - not just for the forum it was posted in, but off topic for Seabreeze;
- Spam - the topic was advertising for a business or was thinly disguised market research;
- For Sale or Wanted to Buy - the topic was posted to ask for offers for buying or selling something (please use eBay or some other auction site);

Topics which do not fall exactly into one of the above categories, but are deemed inappropriate due to their content or nature, will also be deleted.

Topic Closure Policy

Topics will be closed under any of the following circumstances:

- Off topic - the topic is going off topic, but mostly contains useful information;
- Flame war - the topic is turning into a flame war;
- Purpose fulfilled - the purpose of the topic has been fulfilled - the author's question was answered, the topic has become irrelevant, or is descending into an argument/bickering about the meaning of the words people have written (i.e. topic has been lost).

Topics which do not fall exactly into one of the above categories, but are deemed to have reached the end of their useful life, may also be closed. In cases where the reason for closure is not immediately obvious, a moderator will normally post a final message explaining the closure.

Duplicate Logins Policy

We strongly discourage users from creating additional logins for any reason - with the exception of personal accounts used by recognised Site Sponsors.

We use the term "Duplicate Logins " to refer to additional logins created or operated by an existing Seabreeze member. Seabreeze Moderators have the ability to find these logins, through the use of various tools. In general we will ban any additional accounts we find.

Attempts to circumvent this will not looked upon favourably. For each duplicate login we find, all posts from that login may be removed.

If a member chooses to continue to create duplicate logins, and abuse our hospitality, be warned that we will not hesitate to report your breaches to your ISP's abuse department. As almost all ISP "Acceptable Usage Policies" include clauses regarding member behaviour on websites, such a report can result in a warning from your ISP and potentially the termination of your ISP account.



Zero Tolerance Policy

Seabreeze has a policy of Zero Tolerance for certain member behaviour.

Repeated breaches of any rule by an individual can also attract a Zero Tolerance response.

In cases where such breaches occur, the following actions will be taken (at the moderators discretion):

- The post or topic will be deleted, regardless of whether or not the rest of the post or topic is "valid"; and
- The member's login may be banned for a period of time, ranging from 1 week to a permanent ban.
- There will be no emailed notification of suspensions.

Why was I suspended?

Occasionally members don't understand why they get suspended.  No amount of explanation by moderators or other members of the community seems to provide an adequate explanation to these people..   After suspension they then want to engage in an email debate demanding immediate access, occassionaly with legal threats.

If this is you, you might need to consider whether this website is for you?  You were invited to join on the optimistic hope that you would add to the community, build new friendships, share your knowledge and generally have fun.

The fact is, that if the moderators, through consensus and feedback from the community determine that a members is ruining the experience of other members or generally degrading the forums, our invitation to you to participate will be withdrawn. Otherwise know as 'suspension'.
Just like you can get kicked out of a nightclub for ruining the pleasure of other patrons, you can also be refused access to this site, and repeated attempts to create logins will also be locked out.   Please don't behave like the drunk outside the nightclub demanding entry.  Walk away, cool down, and come back with a fresh attitude, and you are more than welcome.      Creating new logins while under suspension is a surefire way to ensure permanent banning from the site.

Problems with Moderation?

Q. I've had a post or thread removed, should I post about it?

A. Do not create a thread or post complaining about the moderation action. Complaint Topics or posts will be deleted.

Creating multiple Topics or posts complaining about moderation, or creating Topics or posts to abuse or insult moderators, will result in immediate penalties being applied.

Q. If I shouldn't post about the moderation problem, what should I do?

A. The correct first step if you wish to discuss a moderation action, is to politely contact us with your viewpoint.

Moderators are human and are eager to develop good relationships with all forum members.

Moderators understand firstly that they can make mistakes, and secondly that members make mistakes.

They also understand that there can be miscommunication. Approached politely, and with a constructive attitude most issues have been quickly resolved.

Legal Threats Policy

Seabreeze.com.au and the moderators hold the majority of members & businesses on this site in high regard.

With few exceptions, the members & businesses on Seabreeze.com.au conduct themselves in a professional and polite manner, answering questions and responding to criticism with patience and understanding.
  
 This is excellent to see, especially when you consider the downsides of being in the spotlight of forum discussion - such as having your product or actions publicly discussed and dissected by all and sundry, and having every mistake, however small, highlighted for all to see.
  
 Sometimes, members & businesses turn on seabreeze.com.au and make legal threats.

Seabreeze.com.au is more than willing to consider and respond to reasoned, polite requests from members & businesses regarding the removal of posts and threads that break the forum rules, or that are obviously and verifiably inappropriate or defamatory.

However, where Seabreeze.com.au is of the reasonable view that a request/demand is vexatious, it reserves the right to take any or all of the following actions:
  
 * Publication of a news story on the front page of the Seabreeze.com.au site, or a prominently placed announcement thread, or news summarising the legal threats, who has made them and why;
  * Banning of the business and all emails under it's domain from this site;
  * Banning of any and all future discussions about the person / business / organisation on Seabreeze.com.au.
  

The Final Word

It's only a forum. Seriously - don't take it too seriously! :-)





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