ECF is a huge resource with thousands of posts from people across the world and from all walks of life.
Due to the immense amount of activity that has developed over the years we've had to introduce a number of rules which we are quite strict about enforcing. We realise that this upsets some people, but the high standards we impose on ECF are partly responsible for it being, as one user recently stated: "one of the best run forum's I have ever been on".
Broadly our rules are there for two main purposes:
1. To create a clear divide between suppliers and consumers on the forum, and thus reducing the possibility of unethical marketing practices (we really don't see this often any more!)
2. To create a space in which our members can find the electronic cigarette information they need without being exposed to offensive material or behavior.
The rules are enforced by our moderators who have a number of tools at their disposal. In the first instance, we use the infractions system - what most people who break a rule (and it's usually inadvertant) will see is a "rule reminder". This is simply a nudge to let you know that you've contravened one of our rules - it doesn't mean anything beyond that and there is no punishment associated with this. We completely accept that our rules can be complex, and that people in all innocence break them without realising, and so we use a rule reminder to demonstrate the behavior that we do not condone.
If the rule is repeatedly broken, an infraction may be issued. Depending on the severity of the action, the infraction will carry a specific 'weight' - and incurring more infractions will eventually lead to a temporary ban. In some circumstances, especially when it is clear to our administrators that rules are deliberately being broken an account may be terminated. This never occurs without explicit prior warning that our rules are being contravened.
Other options are for the administrators to impose an instant ban. This is only done in exceptional circumstances, and usually relates to behavior so unnacceptable we haven't even thought of a rule to impose against it! Of course, this also applies to spammers and people who sign up with multiple accounts, and decisions to ban instantly are never made permanent until they've been checked off with another member of the admin team.
We don't like having to impose punishment, and none of us get a kick from it - but it is clear to us that for ECF to be able to provide the best service to its membership, a minority of visitors do have to be removed. We are people and therefore not perfect, so we do occasionally make bad calls - in light of this, and the fact that we really do not want to exclude people from such an amazing community of vapers, we have a clear pathway for people to become reinstated, and invite anyone who wishes to to appeal against banning decisions. We could refuse to do this, and it would certainly save our moderators and administrators a lot of pain, but we believe strongly that removing people from the community is a serious thing to do and so we do offer a way back in for those prepared to abide by our rules.
Please note, however, that there are no 'third chances'.