New Pto Policies, Rules & Information - All Members Should Read This!
PTO Rules, Etiquette & Information
It is VERY important that all PTO members Read & Review on occasion the rules listed in this thread. Everyone will be expected to follow them while at PTO.
• PTO Community Purpose:
The purpose of the Prison Talk Online community is Prisoner & Family Support, Information and Assistance. While we welcome people with other view points seeking to learn more, anything beyond friendly questions will NOT be tolerated. PTO is not a forum open to debating whether or not anyone should be in prison, should prisoners and their families have rights, etc. Anyone who is hostile to our purpose will be immediately blocked from the community and all of their posts will be deleted. This will be the ONLY WARNING and no notice will be given.
• “Freedom of Speech”:
While we believe very much in the freedom of speech & expression, you DO NOT have an absolute right to say whatever you want in this community. Anything that goes against our core beliefs and the purpose for which this community was designed may not be allowed. Posts and comments that are meant to incite conflicts between members or outside parties are strictly prohibited. PTO Administration has the absolute right to edit, modify, close or delete any content found in this community. While this rarely, if ever happens, we will not tolerate individuals or groups creating problems with the overall membership.
• Advertising & Promoting:
PTO has a NO advertising policy with the exception of our community sponsors. This includes discussion forums, message boards, chat sites, commercial businesses & services, personal websites, etc. (You may however post a direct link to an outside site given that the information is RELEVANT to a question someone else has requested, or you believe it will be helpful to others.) Sneaky advertising will not be tolerated. If you have a business or service that you think will benefit the members of PTO, please contact “Fed-X” via the PM system. For those of you who would like to post your site (commercial or not), we have a “Resource” (links) section located on all PTO top menus, where you are free to post most any prison related web link along with a full description. It can also be found at: www.PrisonLinks.com
If you violate this policy you will be warned once and the posts will be deleted. Further abuse of this policy will most likely lead to you being permanently banned from the community.
• Soliciting Financial Assistance:
Soliciting financial assistance in the forums, chat or via PM is strictly prohibited. As much as we would like to assist in helping those who are in grave need of it, there is no way to easily and effectively determine the accuracy of someone’s financial situation. Countless people have been scammed on the internet and message boards, perpetrated by people who come into a community with nefarious motives and praying upon others who are kind and want to help people in need.
Any posts of this nature will be either edited or deleted and the member contacted. Repeated abuse of this rule may lead to loss of posting privileges.
• Inviting outside Contact:
“Inviting” is termed as a post where you invite other members to contact you to find out more information, rather than post it in the forum. This is not allowed and any posts with emails or invitations to contact for more information will either be edited or deleted entirely. Repeated abuse of this may result in loss of posting privileges.
• Abuse / Flaming / Derogatory Comments:
Abusive Comments, Flaming, or derogatory insults or comments are strictly against the rules. If you disagree with another member’s point of view, do so in a mature and civil manner. If someone posts to discuss their personal problems or seeks help from other forums members, please do not respond unless you have something positive or helpful to add. If you find yourself being flamed or insulted by another member, please do not dignify that person with a response. Notify a moderator and let us handle it. If you feel you must respond to a flame or insult directly, please do NOT do so on the board. Use Private Messaging, but make sure you do NOT threaten any member.
• Spamming & Cross Posting:
Spamming and Cross Posting is defined as posting the same information or content (full or partial) in two or more posts. We understand that some topics might fit into more than one forum or category but we ask that you please pick the best one and stick with it. Members found to be spamming will be warned the first time and additional posts will be removed. Repeat offenders may have their posting privileges suspended or revoked.
• Language & Profanity:
While we understand the majority of members are grown adults, we do occasionally have young adults and children that visit PTO to communicate with others in similar circumstances as their own. Further, many people are offended by vulgar language. If you feel you must swear to get your point across, please censor your language appropriately so as to not be overly offensive. (e.g., “S***!”) Replacing one or two letters in an expletive by using ASCII characters (! For I, etc) is not an acceptable solution. Abuse of this rule will lead to your posting privileges being suspended.
• User Accounts:
A maximum of ONE account is allowed per person. We have the ability to track and match IP addresses on accounts. If you are found to be using two or more accounts, one or more of them will be deleted and you may be banned from PTO all together depending on the situation. The bottom line here is to register one account and stick with it. If you have account problems, contact a PTO Admin (Fed-X, etc.) and state the problem you are having. One of the Admin’s may recommend that you re-register if the problem cannot be solved but in most all cases a problem with an account can be corrected by an Admin.
• Impersonating Members & Accessing other’s Accounts:
You may not impersonate another board member or create an account for the purpose of provoking other users. This includes creating an account very similar to another member as to confuse others by the similarity in names. Accessing or using someone else’s account or attempting to access another member’s account is strictly prohibited.
• Trying to Circumvent a Ban / Block:
If you log onto the PrisonTalk.com forums and receive a message that you have been banned, please submit an un-ban request and wait for a PrisonTalk.com admin to get in touch with you. You may NOT re-register under a new name if the software lets you. But, if you try to sign up again and we catch you, then it will become a permanent IP Ban. We rarely send out notices that you have been banned.
• Posting Links / URL’s / Email Addresses:
While we prefer that all content be posted in the forums themselves (unless it is a copyright violation to do so) so our members will always be able to access it, we realize that some information must remain on remote sites as it may be too extensive to re-post. Posting links/URL’s in the PTO forums is allowed as long as they substantiate a post, or are summarized. Please don’t post links with a comment such as, “Check out this link”. Let members know what the link is about, rather than surprising them with it. We also do not permit the posting of personal email addresses in public forums due to privacy issues. If you want someone to contact you privately, please post a note at the end of your post to be contacted via PM as long as it is a personal issue. The posting of your personal email address in ANY public forum invites SPAM from people creating mass email listings. Believe it or not, there are people who get paid to spend all day searching newsgroups, message boards, discussion forums, and chats just to collect email addresses that are posted.
• Posting Harmful URL’s:
Any Member of PTO that posts malicious or harmful URL links that cause:
- other Member’s PC’s to become locked or have to be rebooted in order for the PC to regain functionality; or
- “screaming”, (cannot be viewed safely for content or sound at work)
Will lose posting privileges for 3 days. A repeat offender may be permanently banned from the community.
• Threats, Racism & Sexism:
Threads or replies promoting or expressing intolerant views towards “minorities” (race, religion, sexual preference, interracial couples, etc.) will not be tolerated. Consider this the only warning. Violators will be banned.
• Sexual Conduct:
It is the policy of Prison Talk Online (PTO) that sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and harassment include: unwelcome sexual advances (verbal, written or implied), requests for sexual favors, suggestive talk, name calling, discriminatory or derogatory remarks, and other verbal, written or implied abuse of any sexual or other nature. CLICK HERE FOR FULL POLICY. Members who violate this policy will either we warned on the first offense or banned, depending on the nature of the incident. There will be no second warnings.
• Trolling / Inciting Conflict:
“Trolling” or making posts with the intention of creating problems on the forums is obviously against the forum guidelines. This includes registering an alternative ID for the sole purpose of creating problems on the forums. “Troll ID’s” will be locked immediately and permanently, and the primary account holder may be banned from PTO. Members that visit PTO only to participate in “conflict” threads may be designated as Trolling and have their account temporarily or permanently suspended.
• Police/Guard/Correction Officer Bashing:
While we encourage full disclosure, investigation and the sharing of relevant information relating to abuses by Institutional staff (management, guards, jailers, CO’s,etc), blatant and unprovoked bashing of these people is not allowed. Please refrain from derogatory name calling as well. Further, it is a violation of PTO membership to go to any forum or site (ETC) where Correctional Officers are known to congregate and incite problems that may follow you back to the PTO website. If it is found that any member of PTO has gone to another website and created a problem, that then follows them back to our community, that member will be banned immediately.
• Attacking PTO Moderators & Administrators:
Posting a thread or reply to question or criticize moderator or administrator action is not appropriate in a public forum. Please utilize the board’s Private Message function, or email, if you wish to discuss these issues. As long as you bring up your concerns maturely and civilly to the moderator or administrator in question, we will do our best to address your concerns fairly and promptly.
Here are the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of addressing your concerns to moderators or administrators:
“Do” be civil and polite. Bring up your concerns in a mature and respectful manner. If you are contacting us because you violated forum guidelines, be adult enough to admit your mistake. If your ID has been locked for some reason, talking politely to us about it in private, via e-mail or private message, can get your ID reinstated in many cases.
“Do not” be derogatory or insulting towards us. You will not get what you want by name calling or bashing us.
All we ask is that you treat us the way you would want us to treat you. If you treat us with respect, we will do the same for you.
• PTO Bashing:
Threads/replies attacking Prison Talk Online Policies will not be allowed. Further, any member found to be bad mouthing the Prison Talk Online community at an outside location will have their membership blocked. If you do not care for this community, you really have no business here anyway.
• Treatment of PTO Sponsors
Our paying sponsors deserve respect and restraint. PTO sponsors assist us in paying the over $300+ / month server bill (7/1/03), without which, PTO would not exist for you today.
Attacking a sponsor on the board is strictly prohibited. If you have a complaint with a sponsor, you may send the information directly to an Administrator and it will be reviewed prior to being sent to the Sponsor for action or resolution. If you do post on in the forums about a specific problem YOU are having involving a sponsor, please remain calm and state the facts. Do not let emotion cloud the issue at hand.
When your thread is read by a moderator, the moderator will do the following:
A) Lock the thread and place a copy of the thread in the Moderator Forum OR the Sponsor Forum for review.
B) Reply to the locked thread that (A) has taken place
C) The moderator or Administrator will update the locked thread with the response from the Sponsor OR the Sponsor will reply or contact you directly.
WE really hope situations can be resolved off-line but we will not prohibit a statement of fact BUT we will control the thread so as to stop the “Hate” or “Me too” replies these threads often generate.
• Nudity / Pornographic & Adult Material:
Nude and pornographic material is no longer acceptable anywhere in the Prison Talk Online community. Overly suggestive photographs/pictures will most likely be considered adult material and removed.
• Directing Contact Outside of the PTO Community:
Directing members to contact you for more information at your Website, via Email or PM is not allowed, unless the information is sensitive or of a personal nature. One of the purposes of PTO is to provide our members with information on a variety of topics relating to Prison, Prisoner Support, etc. Promoting discussion outside of the forums will prevent this information from helping others in the future.
• Legal Related Posts & Issues:
Prison Talk Online DOES NOT endorse any legal advice given anyplace within the Prison Talk Online community. We highly recommend that members and guests get the advice of an accredited legal expert whenever possible and never rely on just one source.
• “Directing” Posts or Threads:
Making a post directing other people to another post on the PTO site, unless requested, and to check their PM box is not permitted. An example of this would be to create a new threads asking if everyone has voted on the poll you posted, or if they have viewed the other thread. Posts such as these will be deleted and the member will be warned. Continuing abuse of this policy will result in you losing your posting privileges.
• Use of the PTO name:
NO PTO member is permitted to use the PTO name in any cause that is not specifically authorized in writing by Fed-X and PTO. It is sincerely appreciated when our members assist us in spreading the word about the Prison Talk Online community but to state to others that “PTO and I are fighting this issues” (ETC, ETC) is not permissible unless it has been officially sanctioned by PTO.
• Illegal Activities:
Threads/replies encouraging illegal/unethical action (like “The best way to kill the neighbor’s dog”), or more importantly, anything relating to compromising the security of prisons and institutions (ETC) will not be allowed. Posts such as these will be deleted and may lead to you losing your posting privileges.
Conversations relating to manufacturing and “hyping” (promoting or sensationalizing) of drugs are not welcome in PTO. Conversations relating to the Drug War, addiction and other issues (prisoner & family) related are welcome in their appropriate forums.
Signatures are currently allowed at PTO but are a privilege that may be revoked if abused. Signatures MAY NOT contain links or advertisements, nor can they contain images of any type of sexual or risqué content. (Completely up to Admin discretion) You may have a maximum of (1) Count Down timer along with a graphical image that is no higher than 300 pixels x 600 pixels in width and optimized for the web. A good way of figuring this is your total signature should not be taller than 4 inches, but we prefer you keep it as low as possible. Anything that causes the forum load time to become substantially lower for dial-up members will be removed.
• Soliciting Feedback:
Soliciting feedback about products, services and commercial websites in the forums is not allowed. Active members are welcome to post inquires about PERSONAL web sites/pages in the PTO Lounge.
• “Free” & “Junk” Posting:
“Free” or “Junk” posts are (repeated) posts that do not add to the overall positive content in threads, or are postings solely for the purpose of boosting your post count. A good example of this can be found in threads asking for information on a topic for which you have no answer and does not inquire directly (by name) of you to answer. If you were to reply to this thread by saying, “Nope, I have no information”(ETC), this is a junk post. There is no reason to comment because your silence is as good as saying you do not have any information to contribute. If they are asking you personally (by name) though, please do feel free to reply regardless of whether you have the answer or not.
Many people judge member’s credibility based on post count, so we ask that you obtain your post count legitimately. Furthermore, free/junk posts add up over time and waste server space and ISP bandwidth unnecessarily. Threads announcing your post count are considered free posting. Free/Junk post repeat abusers may have their post count severely reduced by PTO administration.
• “Bumping” Threads:
“Bumping” a thread is when you make a post for the purpose of making the thread appear on the “View New Posts” option, or light up as forums with new posts do. While there are some circumstances when doing this is reasonable, it should be kept to rare use. If a moderator or admin feels there is no reason for this, there is a good chance your post will be deleted and you may be warned. Repeated abusers may have their posting privileges suspended.
• “Off-Topic” Posts:
OTP's are posts that do not relate to the original post/topic, or is placed in the wrong category. While we realize threads often expand into different topics, we encourage members to do their best to stick with the original topic, or start another thread. Off-Topic posts are subject to editing or removal at administrative discretion, and without notification. Members that continuously post off topic may have their posting privileges suspended.
• Posting in the Appropriate Forum:
Please post your topics in the most appropriate forum (i.e., death penalty related topics in the death penalty categories). If you post a thread that would be more appropriate in another forum, a moderator will move it for you. However, please do not make the moderators do this for you. Use your judgment to determine which forum best suits your topic. If you are dealing with a topic that could appropriately fit in more than one forum, please pick the one you feel is closest to your topic.
• Thread Subject Titling:
As PTO grows, it becomes increasingly important to properly title the subject of new threads. People find the threads that they are interested in mostly by scanning the titles, even when searching with our site search engine. Titles/Subjects that are leading are not allowed. PTO Moderators may change the title of any thread to assist in describing the content of the thread without notifying the member who started the thread. In some cases, a moderator may also contact the member if it is evident the member is having a problem with titling to give tips.
• Referrals / Commissions / Affiliate Links:
Members are NOT allowed to post links that lead to any type of affiliate program where points are given or any type of prize or monetary value is awarded. Members found to be posting links such as these will have their posting privileges suspended for 7 days. Repeated violations will result in banning.
• Private Messaging (PM) System:
ALL of the general rules listed in this forum apply to the Private Messaging system, especially soliciting, advertising and sexually related PM’s. Violating any of these rules in the PM system will result in immediate removal from the community.
• Moving of Posts:
PTO Moderators and Administrators will move threads & replies to the most appropriate forum often without notice to the member who started a thread. Please spend a little extra time making sure where you start a thread is the best place for it, and don’t rely on moderators to do this for you. Members found to blatantly post threads “wherever” may lose their posting privileges.
• Deleting Posts and Closing Threads:
PTO Administration has the right to close or remove any post or thread we deem inappropriate. The decision to Close or Delete a Post/Thread is solely ours. We have a strict policy of keeping the posts in this community constructive. Posts that create an unnecessary amount of conflict and serve no further purpose may be closed at the moderator’s discretion. Further, it is the policy of this community NOT to delete posts unless the information in a post may put someone in jeopardy. It is the members responsibility to think of the potential consequences of the post they are about to make prior to doing so. Removing a post will often destroy readability of the thread by making it unreadable. Deleting the first post in a thread will cause the deletion of the entire thread. Members do not appreciate spending their time responding to posts only to have the post they make disappear, so we make it a point not to delete posts just because people change their mind after making a post.
• Administration Dispute Resolution:
If you are having a problem on PTO that you feel you cannot solve by any other means available to you, we invite you to contact one of the PTO administrators via PM or email. (Fed-X, etc) Administrators have the final say with anything in this community.
• Contact Information:
Please be sure that if you change your personal email address that you do so here at Prison Talk Online as well. If you lose your password in the future, you will need to have a current and valid email address in your profile to receive the lost password, and verify any changes with the admin.
• Shout Box:
We have a “shout box” located on the main page where members can post a message that is shown along with the main list of all forums on PTO. All PTO policies also apply to the Shout-Box. Abuses in the shout box may lead to loss of posting privileges or removal from community.