***HOW TO BEHAVE ON CYBALIST***
Moderatorial Recommendations and Rules of Proper Conduct
The purpose of Cybalist is to popularise Indo-European studies and to provide a discussion forum for people who are interested in the various linguistic, cultural and historical aspects of IE scholarship.
Cybalist is not moderated in the strict technical sense: the moderators do not have to see all the messages before they are posted to the members. However, as an elementary precaution against Internet hooligans and spammers, new members remain moderated until they start posting regularly. A 'moderated' message has to wait for approval, which may take from a few minutes to a few hours. It may also be rejected by a moderator if it violates our rules of proper conduct (see below).
Our primary duty as list managers is to maintain a decent level of discussion and to make sure that out debates are conducted in a civil manner. We reserve the right to judge whether your postings are conducive to that purpose or not. If we find that a particular poster's behaviour is wilfully counterproductive, we shall react by issuing a warning off-list. If the warning has no effect, we can restrict the poster's privileges by changing his or her status to 'moderated' for about two weeks. Recidivists may expect a longer probation period. Since the public discussion of administrative and disciplinary problems on Cybalist would cause undesirable distraction, any complaints, concerns or suggestions regarding such matters should be sent to us off-list. Should anyone prefer a public discussion of them, we have established a separate forum called Cybalist_admin,
where you can speak your mind freely before all the moderators and before anybody alse who wishes to join that list.
DON'T DO IT
Here is a list of things that are explicitly forbidden on Cybalist. Infraction will result in disciplinary action on the moderators' part, from off-list notification to immediate removal from Cybalist, depending on the seriousness of the offence. It is recommended that Cybalist members should save this list for future reference.
Anyone caught spamming (that is, posting off-topic commercial advertisements or other unwanted junk) will be removed from Cybalist without warning.
(2) Off-topic postings and pseudoscience
Since this list is devoted to Indo-European studies, the discussion of extraneous or too general topics (e.g. other language families, the origin of language, long-range comparison etc.) will be discouraged. There are other lists where subjects like general linguistic, Nostratic studies, anthropology, etc., may be discussed more profitably. We assume that there is a nearly unanimous consensus among the list's managers and regular posters as to what should and what should not be discussed. While the discussion of controversial issues is welcome on the list, there are certain limits that we should like to be observed. In particular, we will not encourage the pursuit of pseudoscience, by which we understand, for example, amateurish decipherments of ancient scripts, racist theories, speculation about the language spoken in Atlantis or in the Garden of Eden, demonstrations that Latvian and Sumerian are practically the same language, or anything else that sinks below the level at which serious discussion is possible.
(3) Id�es fixes
Please do not treat Cybalist as your private forum. Posters who attempt to publicise their private obsessions had better look for some other audience. Anyone who tries to dominate the discussion by sending an immoderate number of messages on a single topic may expect hear from the moderators off-list. In the interest of the group we may shut down a tired thread. In such cases, if you want to protest or ask the moderators to re-open the thread, please get in touch with one of us off-list or write to Cybalist_admin.
(4) Flaming, trolling and ad hominem attacks
Please avoid deliberate rudeness, aggressive language, addressing the personalities of other members rather than their arguments, and other forms of disruptive behaviour. Posters who seem to enjoy irritating other participants or provoking violent exchanges will be given time out at short notice: their posting rights may be revoked for about two weeks. If you feel provoked or insulted by somebody else, please don't hesitate to complain to the moderators (privately or on Cybalist_admin) rather than repay insults in kind.
(5) Flogging dead horses and reviving banned threads
We also wish to discourage attempts to resurrect a closed thread if the poster has no fresh ideas to contribute. The list archive is searchable, and before you raise a topic you should at least try to check if it has not been discussed in the past months. If we find a thread objectionable and announce its termination, any posters who want to post their final thoughts on it may do so within 24 hours. After that time, any attempt to revive a banned thread within two weeks of its termination may be punished with a brief (one or two weeks) restriction of the offender's posting rights.
(1) Post plain-text messages rather than HTML. Fancy backgrounds, colours and fonts are dispensable.
(2) To minimise readability problems, use 'West European' encoding (that is, the 'Latin-1' or ISO-8859-1 character set) whenever possible. If you find it necessary to use something more sophisticated (e.g. UTF-8), do so sparingly and don't forget to warn the list.
(3) Avoid sending attachments with your postings. Any pictures, Word or PDF documents, etc. that you'd like to share with other list members should be uploaded to the Files area instead. Please remember that copyrighted materials have to be handled without breaking the legal restrictions on their fair use. When in doubt, consult the moderators.
(4) When responding to others' postings, quote only those fragments of the original message that you want to reply to. In particular, do not quote whole threads. Make sure that the quotations are properly marked, so that one can easily see who wrote what.
(5) If your reply drifts away from the original topic, change the subject line (e.g. 'IE loanwords in Hurrian [was: The Indo-Iranian homeland]').
The above prohibitions and recommendations are tentative and may evolve further. We will keep you informed if we decide to modify them in the future.