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Extended Discussion Forum Rules and Guidelines

Welcome to the Extended Discussion forum! Extended Discussion (or ED for short) is intended for in-depth discussions and debates on a variety of topics. What makes a thread appropriate for ED is not subject matter alone, but the level of discussion and debate the thread topic generates. How 'serious' a subject is (war, abortion, politics) does not affect a thread's status in ED. If the subject is very broad or if the discussion that arises from the thread is not involved, the thread is not suitable for ED. Examples of this include topics like "What do you think of abortion?" or one line or low-content posts.

ED should be a place for users to have informed, engrossing discussions on topics that interest them and/or to read and learn about unfamiliar issues from users who are more familiar. It is not a place to dump opinions and leave, provide unsupported opinions, or to make short, low-content posts.

In short, ED is for users seeking a higher level of discussion than that available in other forums, without limitation on subject matter or a requirement that the subject be weighty or intellectual (although such subjects are by no means discouraged).

As a member, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the forum's rules before posting. Posting in this forum implies that you read and understand the rules and guidelines and that you accept responsibility for the appropriateness of your thread or post.

  1. Introduction
  2. General Posting Guidelines
  3. Rules & Guidelines for Posting in Extended Discussion
  4. How to Report
General Posting Guidelines

Please be sure to follow the Terms of Service and Rules and Guidelines here, as in all forums.

Common violations to avoid:

    Misplaced and Spam Threads. These are threads that do not encourage discussion or are placed in the incorrect forum. Please keep in mind that spam is only allowed in the Chatterbox. Intentionally posting spam will likely earn you a warning. Repeating the violation may result in your account being banned.

    Posting in Misplaced Threads. Anyone found spamming or flaming in response to a troll thread, spam thread, or an obviously misplaced thread will be treated just as harshly, if not more as the creator of the thread. There is a zero tolerance policy on this. The way to enforce the rules in ED is to make liberal use of the report system, not take matters into your own hands, which makes you absolutely no better than they are. This includes posting to tell a user they are in the wrong forum as this creates more spam.

    Trolling and Flaming. Trolling is defined as posting to deliberately provoke arguments, with no other intent than to gain attention, generally negative, for the sake of attention. Flaming is posting deliberately hostile and insulting messages. Trolling and Flaming is not acceptable conduct anywhere on GAIA. Flaming and trolling will earn you a warning, and repeating the violation may result in your account being banned.

    No exceptions will be made for the context of ToS violating posts.

Terms of Service violations may result in a warning or a ban on your account.

If you find Terms of Service violations, or threads that may need moved to a different forum, please use an appropriate report. The procedures for doing so can be found here.

You can find online moderators by following the "View Forum Moderators" link at the top of the forum.

Gaia Staff will NEVER ask for your password! If anyone asks you for your password, report it.
Rules & Guidelines for Posting in Extended Discussion

Thread Making Guidelines
  • Threads should be made to maximize their potential for complex, multi-faceted discussion. When making a thread, please try and keep your topics as focused as possible to avoid broad, generalized conversation and opinion swapping. For example, instead of "where do thoughts come from?", a thread discussing specific aspects of neurology or mental functioning would be more appropriate for ED.

  • Threads asking users simply to give personal hypotheses with little basis in fact or knowledge of the subject area are more appropriate for General Discussion.

  • Repeat threads are allowed and should not be reported simply because they are repeats. As with any other threads, these should be set up to maximize potential for discussion. Any repeats found that do not facilitate discussion will be treated as spam and moved appropriately.

Posting Guidelines
  • Flaming, abuse, spamming, and excessive off topic chatter are not permitted.

  • When replying, please keep your posts relevant to the original post or the current discussion taking place within the thread. Do not make short posts that contribute nothing to the thread at hand. By and large, posts that are only one line long will not satisfy this condition. However, please do not report users that make short posts in a serious attempt to contribute to the thread. This means that you should not report someone that is asking for clarification on a certain post- or otherwise making a legitimate reply- simply due to post length.

  • Attempt to refrain from using logical fallacies and poor debate methods, as these will frustrate other users and do not enhance the discussion.

  • Do not post in obviously low-content or misplaced threads with the intent of spamming, flaming, trolling, hijacking the thread, or otherwise cluttering up the forum in cases where the thread should simply be reported. This includes sending users to other forums, as this results in even more spam. If the misplaced thread is reported the user will be directed to the correct forum.

  • Do not post off-topic chatter. While it is understandable you will run across the same people over and over, PM them. Off-topic chatter is considered spam and is warned as such. Threads with excessive amounts of off-topic posts will be moved to the Chatterbox.

When Discussing and Referencing Articles
  • Discussing current events:
    • When quoting a current news story, do not simply quote or link to the news article and then ask for a response. Instead, include some of your own commentary and thoughts to help spark a discussion.

  • "Read this article" threads:
    • Please do not make threads that are only copy and pastes of articles, dictionary/encyclopedia articles, forum posts from other sites, or anything else where the basis of the thread is a large peice of text that is not a current news article and is not something that you wrote.
    • If you wish to reference something, or use something as part of your thread, this is fine. However, you must properly cite references, or else your thread will be deleted for plagiarism. You also must add your own content to the thread, such as why you are posting it, what you think about it, and specific items from it that you would like to be discussed.

Misleading or "Spoof" Thread Titles are not permitted in ED
  • Spoof Threads can be identified by the following:
    • Titles including inflammatory statements, often racist, sexist, or bigoted.
    • Threads with titles that mislead the reader as to what the thread content is.

  • These typically have variations of the following in the first post:
    Now that I have your attention, this is what I actually want to say...
    Bet that got your attention, huh? Well, I don't actually think that, but...
    {Offensive statement as title}
    ...is something you hear people say a lot, isn't it? I'd like to talk about that

  • If you are unclear as to whether your thread has a spoof title, or if you have any questions regarding this announcement, feel free to contact an ED moderator.

Where Should I Make My Thread?
  • Advice asking threads & personal issues
    Life Issues

  • Threads Discussing Gaia (Including threads about specific forums)
    Gaia Community Discussion

  • Broad Topics and General Opinion Asking Threads
    General Discussion

  • Satire threads
    These are better placed in the General Discussion or Chatterbox
    However, satire threads that do manage to generate discussion without having a trolling effect are generally acceptable.

  • Spoof threads

  • Popularity contests

  • Chat Threads/HOTs (Hang Out Threads)
    Friends Chat

  • Surveys

  • Homework Help
    Do not make threads asking for people do to your homework for you on Gaia. Asking others to do your homework for you is considered plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense, and any threads asking for people to do all or part of your homework for you will be deleted. Attempting to trade gold for papers or other homework may result in a temporary or permanent ban.
How to Report

Abuse of the report system will result in a warning or ban of your account.

Report a Post

Use the User Image button when an individual post in a topic contains inappropriate content.

    Reasons to Report a Post:

    • The content of the post violates the Terms of Service or forum rules.

    • The content of the post is off-topic.

    • The member who made the post has a signature which violates the rules.

Report a Topic

Use the Report this Topic button at the bottom of the page when a topic is not appropriate for the forum.

    Reasons to Report a Topic:

    • The topic violates the Terms of Service or forum rules.

    • The topic is in the wrong forum and should be moved to a more appropriate forum.

If you need to contact a moderator via Private Message, please use the "View Forum Moderator" link at the top of this forum to find a moderator.

Report Hacking, Scamming or Abuse & Harassment?

The Hacking, Scamming and Abuse or Harassment report forms can be found at the bottom of the forum index. When submitting a report, ensure that you fill out all fields and include as much relevant information as possible.

    Report A Hacking
    Use this form to report a Hacking. Hacking, on Gaia Online, refers to the unauthorized access of an account by someone other than the account owner. In most typical hacking cases, an unauthorized person enters an account which does not belong to him or her and takes items or gold from the account, often changing the account information so that the original owner can no longer access his or her account.

    Report A Scamming
    Use this form to report a Scamming. Scamming is when another member of Gaia takes your gold or items, or tries to take your gold or items, by making false promises of giving you rare items, get-rich-quick schemes, or by any other deceptive means. Scamming generally involves a situation in which two members of Gaia make an arrangement to trade gold, items, or a Gaia approved service (e.g. avatar art commission) with each other and then one of the parties involved in the arrangement fails to live up to his or her promise of an exchange.

    Report Abuse or Harassment
    Use this form to report ongoing Abuse or Harassment. If you are reporting harassment or abuse that is occurring directly in a thread, please use the "Report This Post" button instead.

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