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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As most members are aware, the Forum has a process of Informal Warnings via the Conversation (Private message) system, Official Warnings, which will be recorded on your profile but only viewable by the member and the Admin/Mod teams and bans for dealing with members who break Forum Rules.

To be absolutely clear - we don't want anyone to get banned.
The Rules are there for three basic reasons - to help the forum run smoothly, to keep the forum friendly for all members, regardless of how experienced or inexperienced they are and to protect the best interests of the Forum and the Forum owners.

Some of the Rules are 'advisory' only. They're in place to help members get the most out of their forum experience and to have a smooth running forum, some are to protect their internet anonymity.

The Moderating Team has recently reviewed it's system for the way it deals with members who break the Rules. We hope that the result is a more standardized, consistent and fair approach.
NOTE: Members with existing informal warnings and Official Warnings (used to be called infractions) will not suddenly get a free pass. Those things will be treated in accordance with the new system but will also be reviewed on a case by case basis.

In the past, bans have usually been handed out on an accumulation of all types of rule breaks. They will now we handed out on an accumulation of the same rule break.

INFORMAL WARNINGS
Because we know that many members put a tick in the box to say that they've read the Rules, even though they haven't, we will allow members an extra informal warning before they receive an Official Warning (previously an infraction).
This means you will now get two warnings via the forum's Conversation (PM) system. A record of those warnings will be kept in Moderating. It should be made clear to you that it is a Warning and not an advisory 'heads up' type PM. The Rule you've broken should also be made clear in that PM.

OFFICIAL WARNINGS
These will appear on your Profile Page.
Only the member, the Mods and the Admins can see them
They will not expire.
If you break the same rule four times - which means you will have received two informal warnings and two Official Warnings and you break that same rule again, you will receive a third official Warning AND a short ban.
From then on repeated breaking of that same rule will result in:
4th Official Warning = medium ban
5th Official Warning = long ban
6th Official Warning = would initiate a review that may result in a permanent ban

The length of the bans will be subject to Moderators discretion

NOTE:
We reserve the right to issue immediate short bans as a cooling off period to members that are involved in heated spats
We reserve the right to enforce immediate short, medium or long term or permanent bans if we feel that the situation justifies it.

NOTE: The Conversation (PM) system is private but abuse of it to send inappropriate content, if reported or if sent to a member of the Moderating or Admin Teams, will not be tolerated if we feel that it crosses the line.
We reserve the right to enforce immediate short, medium or long term or permanent bans if we feel that the content of the PM justifies it.

Any queries should be made by starting a Conversation (PM) with a member of the Moderating Team. Posts there can only be seen by the member who starts the thread and the Moderator and Admin Teams
 
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