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Forum Rules

Discussion in 'ECF Forum Rules' started by rolygate, Nov 25, 2009.

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  1. rolygate

    rolygate Forum Manager Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 24, 2009
    ECF Towers

    These Rules supersede and overrule any other instance on this Website or oral communication now or in the past. These Rules are applicable to any and every area on this site, and there are no exemptions.
    Terms and abbreviations are at the end of the Rules.
    Please carefully note Rule 2: these Rules are updated frequently and without notice.

    1. YOU AGREE that your use of this Forum is governed by these Rules.

    2. These Rules may change from time to time and it is your responsibility to check for the latest version. The Rules may be updated without notice.

    3. Age limitation
    This Website is for the use of persons over the age of eighteen ONLY. Persons under 18 must not use the Website. ECF does not allow persons under 18 to register or participate in any way.

    4. Site Policy
    a. ECF is a work-friendly and family-friendly environment. This means that if a work colleague or family member looks over your shoulder while you are visiting ECF, they must not see any material that might easily offend or that may be unsuitable for children.
    b. Additionally, colleagues or children must not hear language that may be offensive, for example when a video is being viewed.
    c. Offensive materials are not permitted. If posted to the site, they will be removed and the member who posted the material will receive an infraction. Do not post any material that may be considered offensive, whether it is text, graphics, video or audio.
    d. Do not post links to such materials.

    5. Registration
    a. One person, one account. This means:
    i. You can only have one account.
    ii. Only one person can use an account.​
    b. A person is only allowed one member account at ECF. Do not create multiple accounts. If there is a problem with your account and you cannot access it, DO NOT create another account: instead open a support ticket via the Contacts link at the top and bottom of every page and we will resolve the issue for you.
    c. Only the account holder can use an account. Do not allow anyone else to use your account. Your spouse, partner, family members, friends or others cannot use your personal ECF account. They must create and use their own.
    d. Do not provide false information. If you provide false information during registration, we will assume you are under-age and you will be banned. Re-enabling your membership subsequently will then require proof for the information you then supply, so we advise that you do not initially provide false information. All members are anonymous (unless they wish to post personal details), so we have to assume that persons providing false details at registration are either under-age or spammers, and therefore we will act accordingly.
    e. Your email address: we require you to have a valid and correctly-working email address.
    f. Your username: your forum name must be in standard English characters (also known as Latin characters) with no accents, and standard numerals. This means the letters and numbers found on a normal English language keyboard: a-z, A-Z, 1-9 and 0 (zero), and no accents are allowed. Keyboard symbols are allowed if not used excessively (more than 2 symbols may be considered excessive). Non-keyboard symbols are not allowed. Any symbol used must be on a standard US English keyboard as that is the language convention we use on ECF.
    g. No non-English characters are allowed. No accents are allowed. This is because our forum uses English, our Moderators have standard keyboards, and our Moderators must be able to read your name, understand any meaning in your name, and type your name.
    h. A username consisting entirely or largely of symbols and numbers is not permitted.
    i. A username may not consist of a trade name, business name, domain name or phone number.
    j. A username may not contain censored words or references to illicit drugs.
    k. A username may not be offensive, inappropriate, harmful, or disadvantageous in any way to ECF.
    l. Some words are prohibited by our software, and if your name is not accepted you must choose an alternative.

    6. Messages and Accounts
    a. Posts and other public messages (e.g. blogs) must be in English. The International Language Forums are excepted, where posts may be in the appropriate language and script.
    b. The Forum Officials reserve the right to edit, move, delete or close any message or thread for any reason. In the event of any dispute the decision of the Administrators is final.
    c. The Forum Officials reserve the right to remove, edit or suspend any user account at their discretion. There is no right of appeal.

    7. Copyright
    a. Do not post articles in their entirety that are published elsewhere. This is breach of copyright.
    b. You must not post material on this Website that you do not own the copyright to. Only one paragraph or 300 words from an article/blog/resource elsewhere may be posted, whichever is the greater, and a link should be given to the original source (unless it is republished under a Fair Use agreement, which you must define).

    8. Courtesy
    a. Members must be polite at all times. When addressing another Forum user, you will be polite. Courteous discussion is welcome here but heated and abusive argument is not. If attacked you are not allowed to respond in kind. Instead use the Private Message system and try to resolve matters privately and amicably. If problems persist ask for the help of a Moderator.
    b. Suppliers cannot post negative material about other suppliers or their products or service or prices, whether they are ECF Suppliers or not.
    ECF Suppliers Terms of Service

    9. Personal attacks
    You can disagree with the subject matter of a post, but never personally attack the poster - “Attack the post, not the poster”. Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself: with courtesy.

    10. Misconduct
    a. These are not permitted -
    • Flaming (insults).
    • Criticising or complaining about a Moderator, or how the site is run, except via PM (private message).
    • Discussion or mention of illegal/illicit drugs or sexual content.
    • Posting of vulgar videos.
    • Obscene or vulgar language.
    • Trying to place offensive text in a post by evading the forum's built-in word censor, using symbols or alternative letters for example.
    • Multiple identities/accounts: each member is allowed only one account on the ECF Forums. This also applies to Facebookers (one account only on ECF).
    • Spamming for post count (placing meaningless posts) is against the rules.
    b. Posting photos or pictures that some may find offensive or unacceptable is not permitted. Naked or semi-naked pictures of people are not permitted. As matters of taste cannot have a hard definition, Moderators will determine what is or is not acceptable - if you are unsure, then do not post the material.
    c. Links to offensive materials of this type are prohibited.
    d. Improper solicitation of goods, services, or monies from suppliers or other members; and/or giving instructions to others on how to solicit products. ECF is a 'no begging zone'.
    e. Posting affiliate links or tracking links is not allowed.

    11. Trolling ('fishing expeditions' in search of a strong reaction)
    Trolling includes but is not restricted to:
    • Posting something deliberately inflammatory - either to start a 'flame war' or simply to cause difficulties for the Moderators.
    • Engaging in behaviour which is disruptive to the general operation of the Forum.
    • Deliberately posting something which is against our forum rules.
    • Flooding the board with comments coming from a single point of view in multiple posts.
    • Posting snide comments about another member.
    • Posting repeated criticism of Moderators or their moderation activities.
    • Comments that insult people on the basis of their sexual orientation, religion, race, nationality, or country of origin.
    12. Communications considered private
    Posting the content of PMs or personal emails on the forum is not allowed. All PMs and emails are deemed to be confidential and cannot be made public except with the prior written consent of the author.

    13. Message conventions
    Posts made by members must accord with certain conventions.
    a. Posts must be in English, except in the International Language boards.
    b. Off-topic digression: Stick to the topic. Do not deviate from the subject discussed in a thread as this is called off-topic (OT) posting. Open a new thread if a new issue arises from the discussion so others can always see by the title what the thread is about. Do not post the same topic in several forums (no double-posting / cross-posting).
    c. Post titles: The title of a post should accurately refer to the content of the message.
    d. Do not place links in the title. Example: " Find good resources at ".
    e. Do not place domain names in a post title. Example: " is a great site ".

    14. License
    You agree that you assign to this Website and its successors perpetual and unlimited license free of charge to publish or otherwise use any content and materials provided by you. You agree that this applies to any post or article or contribution or material of any type that you submit or upload in any way. You retain copyright to any original content you contribute.

    15. Freedom of speech
    Your contribution to this forum is not a right but a privilege. As this is a private website there is no public right to freedom of speech. The rules we have in place are to protect the site, and to provide a convivial environment for our Members. In short: we decide what is permissible or not permissible.

    16. Offensive or illegal content
    a. Although the Officials will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for all messages to be reviewed. All messages express the views of the author alone, and neither the Owner nor Officials of this Forum may be held responsible for the content of any message.
    b. The forum software automatically censors (removes) some offensive words, links to low-quality websites, and terms we do not wish discussed here. If a word or link in your post is removed and replaced with ........., it has been censored. Do not attempt to defeat or evade the forum censoring software.

    17. Advertising/Selling in posts
    a. You must not use this forum for advertising. Any post that seems to have been made for advertising will be deleted. Registered Suppliers may advertise subject to compliance with their specific rules. Members wanting to sell, trade and/or buy e-cigs and e-cig related items from other members may only post these items in the Classified section.
    b. Shilling (commercial and/or excessive promotion) is not permitted. This includes affiliate codes/links, links to Unregistered or Banned Suppliers, and links to sites of dubious quality/content/reputation in signatures, blogs or forum posts.
    c. Employees of a vendor or any person commercially affiliated with a vendor are not permitted to discuss/advertise the business or products of the vendor.
    d. Pre-advertising: no business-related posts are allowed anywhere on ECF unless registered as a supplier. Potential suppliers (not yet actualized) cannot post anything business related anywhere on ECF.

    18. Linkspam
    You must not linkspam the forum (post links for the purpose of advertising). Genuine messages with genuine links that are relevant and of use to our community are permitted. Linkspam will be deleted and an infraction may result. ECF does not want irrelevant or biased links.

    19. Linking to low-quality websites
    a. No links to low-quality websites are allowed. This means sites that are banned by search engines to a greater or lesser degree; websites that are rated poorly by safe-surf organizations; and sites that we rate as being of low quality. Such sites include but are not limited to those listed in banned sig links (see below).
    b. Posting live links [1] to propaganda against e-cigarettes, low-quality unresearched or slanted press articles, or materials containing deliberate attacks on e-cigarettes unsupportable by independent evidence, is not allowed. Links should be broken by placing spaces in the domain part of the URL, or any other method that prevents browsers or search engines seeing a link [2].
    c. Links to propaganda are allowed when the link is to a government or similar official resource AND the link is approved by ECF Officials.

    20. Links to .exe files
    No direct links to executable files are allowed (examples: .exe, .xls, .scr). Please link to the page the file is referenced on.

    21. Links
    a. Members may link to any website in their posts, provided that the website content broadly aligns with our content policy with regard to acceptability and legality. We do not expect other sites to have the same standards but there is a line which determines what is is or is not allowed, and our Moderators will determine where that line is. If in doubt, do not link to resources that we may find unacceptable.
    b. Frequent links to the same resource will attract the attention of the Moderators and may be removed.

    22. Links to blogs, e-cigarette review websites or ecig-related blogs
    a. All e-cig review sites or blogs must be checked by us before their owners may link to them from ECF. The owner must register with us in order that certain conditions can be checked - for example that affiliate links are declared.
    b. To register, contact the Reviewers Manager via this form:
    c. Any blog or website linked to may require notification to us before the link is permitted, and this will always apply when the same resource is linked to frequently.
    d. No signature links or 'siglinks' are allowed without registering as a Blogger. If you link to a website in your forum signature then you must register as a Blogger / Reviewer.
    e. The type of website content or topic area is not relevant if it is in a siglink. All siglinks require registration.
    f. An exception is allowed for pre-approved links, particularly those to consumer associations like CASAA. Links to national consumer associations, consumer activism groups, and local vapers groups are allowed.

    23. PM and Blog systems
    a. The Private Message (PM) and Blog systems must not be used for advertising or promotion in any form. Any Member spamming via PMs or Blogs will be banned immediately.
    b. The Private Message and Blog systems must not be used to slander, libel, or otherwise harass members or suppliers. Misuse of these systems in this manner may result in a permanent ban. If you wish to complain about a supplier, use the Reviews of Suppliers - Negative forum.
    c. Blogs must not be used in order to circumvent any ECF rule on posting. Use of the Blog system to circumvent a rule will result in the same enforcement that a forum post or reported PM would receive

    24. Suppliers
    Vendors or anyone with any commercial connection with PVs / e-cigarettes of any form whatsoever must abide by our Suppliers Rules. See suppliers information and TOS:

    Suppliers General Information
    ECF Suppliers Terms of Service

    25. Attacking other websites
    Members' use of this forum to discuss spamming, trolling or disruption of other sites is not allowed.
    a. No posts discussing the placing of unwanted text or materials on another website or forum are allowed.
    b. No posts advocating methods to carry out such attacks are allowed.
    c. No posts giving resources to carry out such attacks are allowed.
    d. Members who attack other sites in any way are at risk of being banned. This includes trolling, spamming links, or acting in a way likely to bring ECF into disrepute on other sites.

    Any such posts will be deleted and the person responsible will be sanctioned.

    26. Avatars
    a. A photo or graphic is allowed.
    b. The maximum dimensions are 160px width, 200px height, and 20kB filesize.
    c. A .gif is advised.
    d. No animated graphics are allowed except on application to the Forum Manager.

    27. Signature (sigs)
    a. No animated graphics are allowed in signatures and there are no exceptions.
    b. No affiliate links are allowed in signatures.
    c. No commercial links are allowed. This means links to business websites or any website with a primarily commercial objective unless the site is related to electronic cigarettes and is permissible according to other rules. Signatures with links to Unregistered Suppliers and/or sites of dubious quality/content/reputation are subject to removal. If excessive promotion is suspected, an infraction may also be given.
    d. Signature images (graphics, gfx) must be 400 x 65px or less in dimension (this means the width cannot be greater than 400px and the height cannot be greater than 65px), and no more than 25kB in filesize. We advise a .gif or .jpg file.
    e. Members who are permitted a linked sig graphic cannot also have text links unless there is a usergroup exception for their group.
    f. Members may have a 'Stopped Smoking' graphic of standard size in addition to another graphic. Sigbanners of this type may not have adverts either in them or linked to.
    g. No links (including in signatures) are allowed to websites we proscribe, or to websites either for, or that feature prominently:
    pharmaceuticals, porn, gambling, violence, loans, credit, political parties, religious views, information considered illegal in most countries.​
    h. A signature is a privilege, not a right, and can be withdrawn any time for any reason and without notice.

    28. Affiliate Advertising
    a. Affiliate advertising is not allowed on ECF forums, either directly or indirectly. This includes, but is not limited to, affiliate links, discount codes with an affiliate code, or clickable signature banners.
    b. Links to external web pages with affiliate codes/links/banners are not allowed except where an agreed exemption is granted to Registered Reviewers or similar.
    c. Posting affiliate links or tracking links is not allowed. No link is allowed that takes a visitor through a 3rd-party channel.

    29. Tags
    The tagging system is for the benefit of members searching the forum, and must not be abused. These types of tags are not allowed:
    a. Tags that are offensive or may be considered inflammatory.
    b. URLs (web addresses) or domain names.
    c. Adverts for vendors, or vendor names.
    d. Tags that promote products especially where the tag is placed in another vendor's thread.

    30. Videos
    Any video posted or linked to on ECF must be of broadcast standard in its language and content. No offensive material may be published, and videos must be work-friendly and family-friendly in the content and especially language.

    31. Classifieds and PIF
    a. No addresses gained from the Classifieds or Pay-It-Forward sections may be used for any other purpose or published anywhere.

    32. Polls and Contests
    a. Any event decided by voting, or polls, or contests, run by and for members or groups, cannot be termed 'ECF xxxxx Of The Year' or similar as this gives the impression that ECF has sanctioned the event and has some input into the conduct of it, or has requested appropriate quality standards where the poll is for a product. ECF would require independent proof of safety standards or similar. Such private events must be termed 'ECF Members Choice xxxxx Of The Year', 'ECF [Group] xxxxx Of The Year', '[Group] xxxxx Of The Year', or similar.
    b. No contest may exceed 2000 post. Any contest exceeding this amount will be closed without notice.

    33. Surveys and studies
    Surveys and studies or any other form of clinical or academic work soliciting responses from ECF members must be approved by the Forum Manager before being placed on the forum. (See Contacts page.)

    34. Electronic cigarette definition
    a. An 'electronic cigarette' or 'e-cigarette' or 'PV' (personal vaporizer) or 'EV' (electric or electronic vaporizer) as described on this website is a consumer product designed as an alternative to smoking, for smokers age 18 or over.
    b. They are electrical or electronic in design and function, do not contain or use any tobacco, and there is no combustion and no smoke. They supply a flavored water-based aerosol vapor that may or may not contain nicotine.
    c. Nicotine is deemed to be a consumer product in the same class as coffee (caffeine): universally legal and without significant health issues when consumed responsibly. Nicotine cannot justifiably be deemed illegal or a medicinal product in any jurisdiction since it is part of the normal diet. Irresponsible consumption is a behavior with risk that is assumed by the consumer as with any dietary component.
    c. Use of e-cigarettes is assumed to have a reduction in risk as compared with smoking, since they are tobacco-free and smoke-free, but use is not without risk and users must assume the risk and it cannot be assigned to anyone except the user.
    d. ECF does not allow or support the use or discussion of use of any substances that we consider unconnected to normal e-cigarette use or generally recognized as illegal. ECF is a single-topic resource and that topic is the e-cigarette.
    e. Members may not discuss non-legal non-consumer drugs.

    35. Nicotine strength
    a. The maximum nicotine strength of refills (any liquid that is a finished product for retail sale for vaping whether bottled or sold with or within hardware) allowed to be offered for sale on ECF by Suppliers is 45mg/ml or 4.5%.
    b. No liquid of strength higher than this can be specifically mentioned or offered on ECF by Suppliers. Trade deals are exempt, within private supplier boards only, as higher strengths are needed for trade bulk mixing. Note that there are shipping restrictions in some countries for toxic materials, which can be obtained by application to your local Postal Service and private shippers, and you are cautioned not to contravene these restrictions.
    c. Suppliers can sell whatever strength they wish with the exception of pure nicotine (900mg/ml / 90% and above). Sites that sell pure nicotine will be blocked by ECF [3]. We define 'pure nicotine' as 90% / 900mg/ml or higher. Wholesale supplies are exempt from this ruling. We expect that Suppliers will ensure that wholesale customers are well aware of (a) the high risks, and (b) the equipment and precautions needed.
    d. There is a limit on public discussion of 200mg (20%) maximum for mixing discussion, recipes and tutorials, and also in the Classifieds. Members may not discuss the use of refills (any liquids) stronger than 200mg.
    e. The use of 'Pure Nicotine' cannot be discussed (in detail) on public forums on ECF (trade forums are exempt) due to the hazard [3] - see Notes below. That is to say, it can be mentioned in passing but not discussed at length especially as regards mixing.

    36. Removal requests
    a. If you have a patent or copyright-related request for material to be removed from the Website, we will always comply with such requests where they can be shown to have a legally-valid basis. Please provide the details below and if not using a registered mail service to our address then ensure that you receive acknowledgement of receipt:
    i. The patent number and a link to where it can be found online.
    ii. The copyright details and a link to where it can be found online.
    iii. Alternatively, please send the documents to our postal address as available in the Website ToS and notify us by email of the postal service details: admin[AT]e-cigarette-forum[DOT]com
    iv. A link to the place or places on ECF where the material can be found.
    v. The reason why you require the removal of the materials.​
    b. Please note that unverifiable copyrights or patents pending do not confer any rights in law and will lead to wasted time on your behalf as we would not be able to comply.
    c. In the case of disputed claims or alleged libel or similar materials, please supply a link to the location of the materials and the reason/s the materials should be removed.
    d. Unless you supply your full name, job title, business name, business postal address, and full relevant details, we will consider your communication to be an anonymous request. We cannot process anonymous requests and such communications have no legal status.

    37. Offenders
    Persons who contravene these Rules may be politely asked to desist. Further contraventions will result in sanctions of various kinds, and/or the member may be banned for a period or permanently. The application of such sanctions, or their severity, or whether or not offenders are informed of such sanctions, is entirely at our discretion.

    Abbreviations and terms
    The Rules are these clauses on this page.
    ECF or the Forum or the Website means the E-Cigarette Forum and the website at:
    E-Cigarette Forum - ECF
    A Member is a person who has applied for and been accepted as a registered user of the Website.
    The Owner is the owner of the Website.
    The Officials are any of the Forum staff, including the Administrators and Moderators.


    Rule 19: Linking to low-quality websites
    [1] A 'live link' or hyperlink is a link that, when clicked, sends the visitor to the linked resource, such as a web page.
    [2] Search engines attribute a great deal of weight to ECF materials (it is called 'TrustRank'). If we link to a webpage, it is seen as a major vote for that page, by the search engines, and it will give that page additional pagerank and credibility. We do not want to support commercial paid-for propaganda and inaccurate or agenda-based journalism.

    Rule 35: Nicotine Strength
    [3] It became obvious that some members joining in discussion of pure nicotine did not have any idea of the danger, or any knowledge of working with hazardous chemicals, or even any basic knowledge of measurements. Pure nic is as dangerous as cyanide - just opening a bottle in a room can result in all present being poisoned. It must be handled in a fume cupboard, with hazmat precautions. Pure nic can be theoretically defined as: Nicotine 100%, 1000mg, 1000mg/ml, but is more likely to be found as 998mg, 997mg/ml or 990 mg (99%). We consider anything over 90% / 900mg to be 'pure nic'. No discussion of use or links to suppliers whatsoever are allowed [4].

    There is a very real danger of hospitalization or worse with this material and ECF cannot support any publicity of its use or sources. There is no need to use it since far safer strengths are available for bulk mixing, such as 48mg (4.8% nicotine in PG or VG), 60mg (6%), and 100mg (10%). To protect our members and ourselves we do not allow discussion of or sources for anything over 200mg (20% nic) [4].

    Advertising/promotion on ECF cannot exceed 45mg strength. Vendor's sites can sell any strength up to 89% though we advise vendors to limit sales to 10% / 100mg/ml where possible. Sites selling pure nic will be banned.

    [4] Except within private trade forums.

    ___________________________________ ________________________________

    Vendors' Information

    Suppliers (any dealer / trader / vendor / frequent seller / manufacturer / wholesaler) must read the Suppliers' ToS, Suppliers Information and Suppliers Rules here:

    ECF Suppliers Terms of Service

    Suppliers General Information

    How to register as a Supplier

    New suppliers - visitors or new members or any others starting to sell or trade in any way - must read the rules above.

    If a trader is not registered with us, which involves a review procedure, they MAY NOT post any reference of any kind related to their involvement with buying or selling any materials related to ecigarettes.

    Any posts with links or adverts or promotion of any kind, made by suppliers who are not registered with us, or not in compliance with the rules, will be deleted immediately and the user banned.

    Classifieds Section Information

    Classified Rules - Updated Often

    ___________________________________ ________________________________
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