Our community has rules.
We feel it's only fair that you know them before you join.
Dirty Discourse utilises a points system, and the rules are laid out by how many warning points each rule would earn if broken. All warning points last for three months, and then expire.
3 points, whether accumulated or given all at once, is an automatic and permanent ban. No refunds are given to banned members.
Guidelines (AKA 0-Point Rules)
- Please tag your posts. Tags are really useful. They help people find posts. Please remember to add at least one relevant tag to new threads when you create them.
- Swear if you wanna. We're not going to police your language. Swear if you want to; don't swear if you don't want to.
- Be Excellent to Each Other. Party on, dudes!
- Participation is required. We don't accept lurkers, and if you regularly log in without ever posting you will eventually get pruned. Sorry folks, this is a forum for work colleagues to discuss business as well as hang out around the water cooler; it isn't a movie. The purpose of any community for like-minded writers is to keep us interacting with others in our profession and help each other out.
- Respect the no-sharing rules of others. If you are in a private group, subreddit, Facebook group, forum or whatever, and it has rules about sharing its information elsewhere, please don't share their information here. Not only are there likely to be other members of that private group here who may well see what you've done, but also if you can't abide by their no-sharing rules, nobody will trust you to abide by ours either.
- Consider adding a trigger warning where required. We're not always going to get it right. Not everyone has the same triggers. But if we could please try to be considerate and include a heads-up if we're starting a thread or linking to a site or article which features common triggers (sexual assault, domestic abuse, self-harm, and so on). Strictly it's covered by be excellent to each other, but it's worth a separate mention. A little consideration goes a long way
- Fair-Use Policy. All posts you make, all content you provide, comes under the UK's Fair Use Act. This means that while the copyright to your content is yours, you are freely choosing to share it with us, and you give us the right to edit or delete your posts as we see fit (we usually don't, but it's worth stating). DD is in effect "publishing" your words when you post them here. If someone copies your post and places it elsewhere on the internet that is plagiarism and you are well within your rights to pursue that person or the new site, but by posting here you are giving us full legal permission to display your post. You may of course delete your own posts, too, but in the event that you are banned we may choose not to delete your posts for you, to preserve the flow of threads and conversations. We may change your username post-ban in the interests of GDPR.
- Remain Civil. Disagreements happen, and that’s a-okay. People can even get a bit passionate, and this also is fine. If you disagree with someone's opinion remember that they've got different opinions to you on all kinds of things, from films to food to ideal vacation spots, so a disagreement about one more thing doesn't make either of you any less awesome. But the moment you cross from impassioned disagreement over into hostility, name-calling, or rudeness is the moment you earn a point.
- Do not denigrate other writers' chosen genres. So you don't write Cozy Mysteries? That doesn't make you qualified to make blanket statements about how shitty they all are. So don't.
- Do not encourage users to report books. Not even in jest. Even if you are joking, “I’m going to report this!” may be misconstrued as a genuine statement of intent. Encouraging DD users to report, or saying that you are going to report, is a point. Reporting your own plagiarised content is obviously exempt from this rule.
- Do not collate information from DD into off-DD resources and share them. This includes Google Drive documents and spreadsheets. You might think that handing out the link to other DD members means the information you’ve collected will remain here. It won’t. Une point.
- Do not incite witch-hunts. By this we mean do not link to a review, a blog, a website, a social media profile, reddit, or any other site with the intent to stir a mob. One point.
- Do not engage in Crab Mentality. Sitting in a corner and bitching that other people are leaving the bucket is not acceptable. That's what we're all here to try and do: we all want to leave the bucket! So don't be a sourpuss when someone does it.
- Do not use the Paywall as a shield to be catty behind. We get it, you think someone somewhere else said something silly, but please don't copy and paste their words here then snark on them where they can't defend themselves. It's mean-spirited, and you're a grownup. One point.
- If you get marked as a Lurker and send the admin staff a snotty email demanding reinstatement, you may return to find yourself the proud owner of a shiny new warning point. There’s no need for rudeness, and getting marked as a Lurker isn’t a personal slight.
- No asking people for their pen names or books or other potentially identifying information. Some are happy to share, others aren't. It isn't information that you have a right to, so please don't ask in the first place. That way nobody feels uncomfortable having to say no. If a group requires that you share your pen name to join and you do not feel comfortable doing so, please do not apply to join that group. Likewise if you create a group, state explicitly up-front whether users will need to share their pen name with the group - do not spring it on them once they've joined up. Likewise asking to see someone's book(s) is basically the same thing as asking for their pen name.
- Do not solicit for work or money on the basis of difficult circumstances. On the surface of it this seems a bit mean, but over time we have seen a pattern emerge: those who offer ghostwriting, plotting, cover design, or any other service and accompany it with a story about how they're struggling for money are the ones least likely to fulfil their obligations. If you wish to offer your services, mentioning your own fiscal dire straits in the post will earn you a point.
- Do not PM people for one to one help unless SPECIFICALLY invited to do so. Breaking this rule will lead to a point and the permanent revocation of your PM privileges. People are busy; don't demand their time.
- Do not create multiple Resources for virtually indistinguishable services. Please update your existing resource with any new offerings / information / items. Cluttering up the Resources section just makes it harder for everyone to use.
- No Plagiarism. Plagiarism includes taking the effort of another and repackaging it as your own, and does not only include books and stories. It includes any of their work. DD Forum posts are covered by this rule, as are articles, works listed for critiques, book covers, marketing materials, or anything else which you didn’t make. For more details on what constitutes Plagiarism, please see Selena Kitt’s excellent blog post here.
- No Fraud. If you take a DD member's money for a service and do a runner with it, you will be banned. It is incumbent on you to manage your client's expectations. If you promise delivery by a certain date, deliver by that date. Disappearing acts will not be tolerated. Opening a PayPal dispute for a refund of your DD subscription even though you have used the forum is included in this category.
- No Bigotry. This is the 21st Century and we’re all adults. Bigotry is an automatic ban.
- No Outing or Doxxing. Do not out another person's identity in any form, whether on the board or out into the wider world. Do not link a user to their pen names, do not link two otherwise unrelated-seeming pen-names to the same author, and do not speculate on whether a pen name belongs to a specific author. Do not link to a person's real-name social media. Treat everyone else’s privacy with the respect you wish them to treat yours. If an author shares this information publicly that’s their choice.
- No Reporting Books. If you are found to have reported the books of another author, you will be disowned. I don’t care how much rage you are filled with. Manage your own business and let other authors manage theirs. Customers will vote with their coins and mis-categorised books tend to sink without your help. Obviously this does not include reporting books which are plagiarising yours.
- Do not upload Illegal content. Dirty Discourse is hosted on servers which are both registered to and physically located in the United Kingdom. If you upload something which is illegal content within the realm of UK Law you will be banned. If you think something may be "a bit dubious" but aren't sure of the legality of it, don't upload it to our servers. And obviously don't be distributing pirated material here either. That's like the height of ill behaviour on a board where everyone makes their living from Intellectual Property, innit?
- The "Troublemaker" Rule. If you are a person who persistently causes upsets through bad-faith behaviour - stirring drama, pointing fingers, calling names, wiping your own posts to look harmless in retrospect, and generally doing everything you can to cause harm without specifically breaking any single rule so as to think you're clever and unpunishable - you will be banned. It may take us a while to get there, because more often than not manipulative or trollish behaviour can take a few weeks or months to truly identify as such, but we will get there.
- We said "permanent". If you make a new account to sneak back on to circumvent a ban, you're going to get banned.
- DD is not Upwork. If you have joined DD specifically to hire members who offer services to DD users (often at reduced rates), and do not participate in the community, we'll show you the door. Fuck off to Upwork and take your content mill ass with you.
- Offering off-DD groups to DD. If you wish to draw DD members to off-DD groups, whether social or business, you MUST be clear whether or not the group is DD exclusive, or whether there are or ever will be non-DD members invited to it. The rationale here is that, in the past, we've seen a handful of groups start up which appeared to be for DDers, but actually were not, and as a consequence DD members went into them with a level of trust and confidence which was later betrayed. We're not implementing an "anti-poaching" rule, because if any member no longer feels that DD is the place for them, we will be sorry to see them leave, but I'd rather they were able to find a space which did suit their needs, but too many times, people have been dishonest in their poaching attempts, and it's led to problems for those who trusted them.
- If you offer a service on DD, you must make a Resource for it. This is so that other members may review your service -- anonymously if they so choose -- which helps to protect other members from sub-par service providers. Anyone found to be PMing people to offer a service on the sly without having a resource will be banned.