If you want to familiarise yourself with how the ShanniiWrites Forums are run, this is where you should start.

As with any forum, we’re going to need some guidelines. Please stick to these and we’ll all have a great time!

You’re free to ask any questions below and we’ll do our best to answer them. However, if you have any suggestions for improvements on the guidelines, please post on in the Site Feedback section.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

Unfortunately, we have very limited space on this forum, so duplicate threads will be closed and/or merged.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. In fact, here on ShanniiWrites, we encourage civilised debate and discussion. It makes us better writers!

If you do wish to express disagreement with someone on the forums, remember to criticize ideas, not people . Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Please also avoid challenging someone’s right to have an opinion. No member of the community should have to defend their right to think differently.

However, that does not mean forum members are exempt from criticism of their arguments. It is your free speech to express your opinion and it’s other people’s free speech to disagree.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Let’s leave our community better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behaviour, don’t reply. It encourages more bad behaviour by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it . If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Keep the main forum free of profanity and mature themes. If you would like to swear and talk about mature stuff, we have a private 18+ section which you can request access to.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or insult, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. We will be adding to the guidelines if we feel it’s necessary. Until then, if in doubt, ask a mod.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Check category guidelines before posting.
  • Don’t post multiple versions of the same topic.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

Powered by You

This site is operated by your friendly local staff and you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in the site feedback category and let’s discuss! If there’s a critical or urgent issue that can’t be handled by a meta topic or flag, contact us via the staff page.

Terms of Service

Yes, legal stuff is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behaviour and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.


If you’re confused about these guidelines, check out our No-Nonsense Guide to What We Flag for more info.