Rules for Posting on the BOI <-- REQUIRED READING!! (updated 12/30/09) - FaunaClassifieds
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Board of Inquiry® This forum is provided exclusively for the discussion of specific persons or businesses in the herp industry. On 02-02-2020 the BOI will be deleted.

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Old 11-10-2002, 02:17 AM   #1
Exclamation Rules for Posting on the BOI <-- REQUIRED READING!! (updated 12/30/09)

NOTE: Please note that some of the rules mentioned here are SITE WIDE, and not limited in scope merely to the BOI.

Please note that the rules here have been appended as of 12/21/07.

This forum is designed to serve the purpose of giving anyone interested in the buying and selling of herptile related merchandise the opportunity to inquire about, or find already existing information concerning a person or business with whom they are considering doing business with. This is NOT the place for flame wars of any kind. Statements, rebuttals and clarifications of FACTS are what we are looking for. Personal slurs or heated discusssions about someone's ancestry will not be tolerated. Opinions are acceptable as long as it is PLAINLY stated that you are stating an opinion. Facts are: dates, value of transactions, actual quoted conversations, and the like. Opinons are: YOUR interpretations of motives, business practices or impressions of the person with whom you had conversations with. Keep these FIRMLY in mind when you are posting your message.

Proof is optional, but recommended if you would like to remove any doubts about the truth of what you are posting. But this is purely up to you, just as the believability of what you post is purely up to the reader of your words.

This will need to be in a format that will allow a reader to quickly find what they are looking for. Topic lines should display the name of the person or business that the message is concerning. Please make it easier on the readers by letting them know whom or what your message is about without having to open it to find out.

Recently I implemented a graphic icon for each of the required prefix labels for each thread started within the BOI. These are set in the program to be required, so you must select one in order for your thread to be created.

They are as follows:
  • - someone or some business that likely should be avoided. Provide FACTS supporting this opinion. Proof is not needed, but will certainly help support your claim.<BR>
  • - someone or some business that you are recommending. Reasons are not required, but an example of your experience would be helpful.<BR>
  • - you are looking for information on the listed person or business. Perhaps you are considering doing business with them and would like some feedback.<BR>
  • - this can be information of any sort about the person or business. Not necessarily good nor bad, could be something along the line of your hearing they got in a shipment of something of interest recently.<BR>
EXAMPLE: Joe Blow's Bargain Basement Bullets

More labels can be added as appropriate and requested.

Please note that the above notes about thread prefixes was modified on 12/30/09.

Please note that inflammatory, malicious, or derogatory statements in the topic line are not appropriate and are subject to being deleted as deemed prudent.


I am providing this forum as a public service. I will not be held responsible for something someone else states, implies, nor accuses within this forum. If YOU have a problem with what someone is saying about YOU, then you need to state your case here and discuss it with the person making the offending statement. This forum is being provided in accordance with the freedom of speech and freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. As such, ANY effort made to discontinue this service will be construed as a violation of ALL viewers and posters of this forum's civil and constitutional rights.

FULL NAMES are required on each posting you make on the BOI. Anyone failing to adhere to this simple rule has subjected their message to possibly being deleted. Anyone using a false name may be subjecting ALL of their messages to possibly being deleted as well has having their account removed from this site upon discovery.

I am going out on a limb and expect a lot of flak from people by providing this forum, so if you are not willing to stand up, state your claim, and put your name on it, then I'm not interested in providing you the space to make anonymous accusations. Such messages will be deleted as deemed appropriate in the individual circumstances surrounding the message.

YOU have to take responsibility and ownership of the words you post here. So take great care in how you craft your statements. Once you submit your message, it will be here PERMANENTLY, no matter what happens afterwards.

This site is an opportunity for you to learn from other peoples' bad experiences and an opportunity for you to warn people of bad experiences you have had. It is also the opportunity for those people that are doing a good job in this business to get the recognition deserved, and give those people new to this business somewhere to go to, to learn who to deal with, without the risks previously attached to dealing with someone completely unknown.

This forum can also be an excellent source of feedback for a person or business to see how the public generally expects them to behave in a business sense. It can also be a valuable learning experience to see how similar problems to one you may be facing has been handled in the past.

Please utilize the SEARCH function as much as possible before starting a new thread (topic line). In many instances, it is much better to continue an existing thread rather than starting a new one in order to preserve continuity in the information about a person or business. Most readers are much more inclined to read a single long thread, rather than dozens of smaller ones scattered all over the BOI. So don't let your message get lost in the clutter by ignoring this simple rule.

Although I don't generally do so, if requested, I may audit someone's registration to try to determine if the full name they applied to a post is actually legitimate. Anyone using an email address that is abandoned after they have succeeded in registering here (especially if using a hotmail, yahoo, or AOL account) will be considered as an anonymous poster and the relevant messages treated as such. Such accounts here are subject to being deleted.

In a similar vein, if I receive bounced emails from an abandoned email account, I may consider your account here as being abandoned as well and delete your account as deemed appropriate.

I know a lot of you probably are used to using initials or nicknames or such to identify yourself to the internet world. I use it myself much of the time (Rich Z). But for THIS forum please include your full name, assuming that not everyone is going to know you. As an example of what I would consider appropriate would be something like Rich Zuchowski (Rich Z), or something equivalent.

I suggest that you utilize the FULL NAME field in your USER Control Panel. If you have neglected to provide your real full name when you registered, please contact me so I can correct that mistake for you.

Please note that I may not be able to get to read every new message posted in a timely manner. YOUR seeing someone violating the rules does not mean it is OK for you to do likewise. And your message being deleted while another one similarly violating the rules remains does not mean I have singled you out. It may just be that I haven't gotten to that thread or message yet, and perhaps I never will if someone doesn't call it to my attention. I reserve the right to delete or keep any messages at my sole discretion. My deleting a message does not mean I disagree with it, just as one remaining on the board does not mean I agree with it. Although I am human and certainly will have my own opinions on most matters, I will try to remain as neutral as possible in all instances.

Any moderators on this site will be carefully picked and made fully aware of what is expected of them here. They are here to help both you and I. As such, I ask you to fully cooperate with them when they contact you about an issue, and fully understand that ignoring their requests can put your membership on this site in jeopardy.

I expect I will get a number of requests from people asking me to delete some message that someone else has posted about them that is rather unflattering. Bear in mind that I cannot, and WILL not be a judge in these matters. Your word will carry no more weight than the other person's word, whether I know you personally or not. All of these types of requests will be refused, no matter how irate and threatening the request may be. As such, please note that I reserve the right to publish such email in the appropriate threads in this forum, as evidence of MY own dealings with YOU. Anyone sending me these types of messages, or of any other type, specifically give up the right or expectation that this correspondence will remain private, at my discretion. In such an instance, such correspondence will be considered as MY contribution to what is known about the parties involved in a dispute. The more abusive the correspondence, the greater the likelihood that you will see it published in this forum.

As a FYI, I have several times been threatened with lawsuits from people demanding that I delete a message unflattering to them, OR ELSE. I am fully aware that anyone can sue anyone else and not have a shred of legal basis to support their suit. But understand that I AM protected by law from liability stemming from any message someone else may post here. If you wish, you can study the following link:

Communications Decency Act of 1996

Yes, there certainly can be libelous messages posted here and yes, you may be able to prove it. But you have to prove it FIRST, and provide a court order to me before I will remove a message from this BOI. Prior to this happening, all I have to go on is your word against another's.

Also, please bear in mind that threatening to, or following through with, filing a lawsuit against either the webmaster here (me) or anyone else posting on this message board carries substantial risks to yourself. Such an action will most certainly be made very public, and the public backlash will quite probably be much more than you had bargained for. More than likely, the damage to you or your business from initiating such an action will be far, far greater than the original cause of your finding a reason to contact an attorney in the first place. This has already happened once, and the person whom initiated the threat of a lawsuit not only became the target of a boycott, but every one of his business's customers were targeted for a boycott as well. This will be very dangerous ground for you to be walking on.

There are certain rules I set up about posting that I will try to enforce, and those messages that flaunt those rules are certainly subject to being removed. I highly recommend that you check out the warning points system I have instituted here. This is a handly little system that will serve as a gentle reminder to new people about minor oversights they may have done in posting messages. More serious infractions get heavier point penalties assessed.

Please note that although not all rules will invoke warning points, they will still carry penalties such as having your post deleted, or perhaps your entire thread locked.

The warning points are as follows:

Actual or implied threats to another member - 5 points.
Threats in public are an indication of someone who just is not welcome on my site. Although this warning will be used as needed, more often then not, a severe case of threats will simply result in the person making the threats being fined and suspended immediately.

Maliciously destructive off topic posting
[i]New warning added on 12/21/07. I'm about as tired of the rampantly destructive derailing of threads by malicious off topic posting as anyone else here. I've been trying to figure out a good black and white definition to help the mods to enforce a rule to end this sort of nonsense, but such a definition has not been forthcoming. So, I am using a definition that is as best I can come up with, and leave it to the mods to interpret where, when, and against whom it is best applied.

Warning System abuse - 4 point
As of 01/21/07 the warning system has been opened up to all Benefactor and Endowment level members to help with the enforcement of the rules on this site. Obviously there is always the potential for one of more of those members to abuse this system, so this warning is to be utilized to try to correct such behavior if it should crop up. If it is habitual, the offending member will simply be removed from having this capability.

Antagonism Towards Moderators - 3 points.
Moderators are here to moderate. That means they may ask you to calm down or tone it down. Turning your sights on them just makes a bad situation even worse, so please don't make their (and mine) job harder.

Racist / Prejudicial Remarks - 4 points.
Pretty self explanatory. No one really likes to see this sort of thing and this site is no exception. This is another warning event that that you need to take heed of. Generally a second offense will mean a suspension.

Profanity - 2 points.
This is a publicly accessible message board, so please post accordingly. Note that if you say something like "You sh!thead!!", then look for the profanity notice in your emailbox. Sometimes it is the thought that counts in situations like this. I know this seems like a pretty lightweight penalty, but quite honestly, this is an adult oriented website so I am de-emphasizing such usage here.

Overly abusive towards another member - 2 points
Especially within the BOI, things will oftentimes get overheated in a discussion. Although it is permissible to let your true feelings show with your emotions in high gear, there has to be some limits if you happen to go ballistic and your posting reflects this unstable state of mind. Civility is NOT required, but but refraining from becoming a complete and totally flaming jackass is.

Posting BOI topics in other forums - 1 point
Please keep all BOI type threads and posts ONLY within the BOI. That makes it much easier for someone to find the information you may be trying to report.

Failure to post FULL NAME in BOI - 1 point
FULL NAMES are required for each post you make on the BOI. Failure to comply with this rule will subject your post to the probabilty of being deleted.

Failure to provide SUBJECT name in topic line - 1 point
The topic line needs to tell a reader what the topic is about. Stuff like "PLEASE READ THIS!" had better have a real good reason for me not to delete it.

Anonymous third party quotation - 1 point
Saying something like "my buddy says you are a thief" is a third party quotation. There is no ownership to the accusation being made. Not allowed here. Let your buddy come in here and say it, otherwise it needs to remain unsaid.

Inappropriate advertising or spamming - 1 point
Someone may get carried away with their promotional zeal for their business and begin posting advertising within discussion forums or posting the same identical ad in many different forums. Sorry, this is just a bit abusive of the readership here, and is strongly discouraged.


I think that pretty much covers the warning system. Please note that the system is set to automatically fine and suspend anyone who gets 500 or more warning points. When that happens, you will not be able to access this site any longer until you click on the available link to go to your PayPal account and pay the $50.00 fine that has been levied against you. Once you pay the fine, your warning point total will be cleared, and you start back with a clean slate. If you do this enough times to where you accumulate an excessive number of total warning points over the time you are on this site (yes, those records are being kept), you will then be PERMANENTLY BANNED from here.

This document is fluid and can be modified at any time as circumstances demand. You are expected to be aware of these rules and guidelines each and every time you submit a new message to the board. The excuse "I didn't know!" will not carry any weight at all if you run afoul of these rules.

I am sorry about all of these rules, but each and every one was found necessary to implement based on abuses or confusions noted over the years. This is a tough ship to keep running, and I'm sure there are other hazards out in the water that I haven't seen on the sonar yet. I certainly do not expect to please everyone, and I do not believe there is any perfect way to do something like this. All I ask is that if you find it useful, use it with due thoughtfullness and consider the short and long term results of your statements. If you do not find it usefull, then try to suggest what you think may help make it useful to you. I certainly cannot promise I will be able or willing to do everything you suggest, but I will certainly give it consideration.

This is here to help, so please use it that way.

Thank you.

Addendum - 10-26-2014 - New infraction added.
Photo evidence in BOI has not been provided via the file attachment function

One Infraction point expiring in 365 days.

Members posting photos and screenshots as evidence need to do so using the file attachment procedure ( in their posts. Anything that is linked to an external source is subject to being removed at will by the poster, or possibly negated if the photo hosting service ends the ability to link to those photos from another site.

Once such evidence vanishes, then the entire thread can then be compromised and made pretty much useless to readers.
Old 12-11-2002, 03:43 PM   #2
Thanks for the info, even since the Communication Acts of 1996, the courts have further given media defendants (this includes websites) heightened protection under the First Amendment.

The Communications Decency Act or the First Amendment immunize hosting, ISP, providers of liable actions as to do so would be to hold them liable for content originated by third parties.

As for those posting the messages, this has been the finding in most cases involving attempts to sue or take acton against someone posting or hosting sites that post public opinions/comments :

Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. v. Menendez-Rodgriguez, et al-The court also held that the nature of the comments in question were matters of public concern.

The court ruled that because the matters in question were of public concern, the plaintiff, to prevail on his defamation claim, must prove both that the statements in question were false and were made with actual malice - that is with knowledge that the statements in question were false, or made with reckless disregard for the truth
A heavy burden for those filing suit to prove. I have a friend that attended Stetson Law School to specialize in internet law and intellectual properties that has been involved in attempted libel or deflamation actions. In many cases, the non prevailing party has to bear the cost of the prevailing parties' actions. That means, the person who thought they were slandered had to pay both attorney's fees and court cost!

It a sad fact as you say, anyone can sue anyone and always find an attonrey willing to do it...... he has nothing to lose and only gains no matter the outcome.

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