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Forum Rules

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Penelope:
Due to an apparent increase in confusion about recent banning decisions, the staff of Suscipe Domine issues the following:

We have a schedule that we typically follow when posters break the rules of this forum and are in need of moderation. This schedule has been published here*. We will at times deviate from this schedule when moderators are in consensus that a given situation warrants it. Sometimes this means being stricter than the schedule calls for, while at other times it means being more lenient. Nevertheless, in most cases we follow the schedule. We have a spreadsheet that we update with warnings and bans and links to relevant threads so that we can always be sure that our moderation actions are accurate and reflect the schedule.

Some posters seem unclear on why bans are issued as they are, even though more than sufficient justification (because none is actually necessary) is available in the Banned Members and Reasons thread. Let us offer some clarification:

Each instance of moderation with regard to warnings and bans is usually discussed among the available moderators before action is taken. In cases when immediate action is required or when the necessary action is obvious, this does not occur, but in cases where there could be some debate about the necessary course of action, this discussion takes place. Then, the agreed upon course of action is carried out by one of the moderators.

Issues often occur and are left unmoderated for a time because of our desire to function as a team, and because we are busy people who run this forum as a hobby and as a service to our community, not as a job. However, we do attempt to arrive at decisions and carry out moderation tasks as expediently as possible.

Some people have recently questioned the severity of certain bans, at times comparing them to other bans. We do not believe that this is a useful endeavor, because each situation and each poster is taken on a case-by-case basis and action taken is based on that particular user's posting history. For example, if a user has accrued a number of bans prior to a relatively minor infraction, a month-long ban may seem excessive. However, the history of repeated bans means that, according to the ban schedule and the number of times a user has given us problems, he was due for a lengthy ban. The offense itself may have been minor, but the continued need to moderate a particular user is also taken into consideration when a ban is issued.

On the other hand, if a user commits a minor infraction and should be due for a two-week ban but has not given us any trouble for a very long time, we may decide to repeat a three-day ban instead. Again, the circumstances of the case may supersede the punishment dictated by the ban schedule.

If a user incurs the short-term bans for early offenses but continues to repeat the same offense again and again, then we will consider permanently banning the user, skipping over the longer temporary bans, because the user has made it clear that he will put forth no effort to abide by our forum rules.

We may also try to consider a user's personal circumstances in making moderation decisions. If we happen to be privy to information that, for example, a user has lashed out against another poster because the user has something upsetting going on in his personal life, we may decide to issue a warning when a ban should have been due instead.

All of these are merely examples, but we hope they elucidate the process of moderation a bit and put to rest the continued need for posters to question why so-and-so has received such-and-such ban when he "didn't really deserve it." If we agreed that he didn't really deserve it, we wouldn't have issued it.

All posters are welcome to PM us with questions and concerns, of course, but we hope that this clarification means that fewer of our users will need to question these particular actions of the moderation staff.

*Please note that at our original debuting of the schedule, we intended to "level-down" bans if a user had gone long enough without breaking a forum rule. In practice, this turned out not to be feasible because it was difficult to keep track of and implement; instead, we consider this leniency on a case-by-case basis as described in one of the examples above.

Kaesekopf:
Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a disturbing trend in the content of posts here, focused primarily upon lay rejection and challenging of church-approved private revelation and apparitions.  This has caused tensions to flare up, arguments to run rampant, and a general disturbance amongst the Forum to occur. 

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, "When the Church approves private revelations, she declares only that there is nothing in them contrary faith or good morals, and that they may be read without danger or even with profit; no obligation is thereby imposed on the faithful to believe them."

Given the volatility of posting regarding private revelation recently and in the past, the following is now implemented.

It is not permissible to call into doubt, oppose, or question private apparitions that are approved of by the proper ecclesiastical authorities.  When an apparition is approved, the Church has performed the relevant inquiry and investigation and has found nothing in it contrary to the faith or to good morals.  As laity, our competency does not extend into that realm.

The compliance and humility of all posters is appreciated in advance.

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