Rules and Guidelines
CookingBites is an online community for food and cooking enthusiasts. Our rules and guidelines allow everything to run smoothly, so please keep them in mind when posting to ensure our community is a pleasant place for members and guests alike.
Access to our community is a privilege, not a right, and members who continually break these rules will find themselves limited or removed, regardless of other contributions they have made.
These rules are not exhaustive and may be modified over time when necessary. Use common sense.
The rules cannot cover everything so we reserve the right to edit or remove any content and take any action necessary to ensure the smooth running of the site and the protection of members, staff, and community reputation.
- Content - Our forums are for a general audience and should be viewable by anyone, including children. Please do not post anything inappropriate in this setting. This includes, but is not limited to, profanity, sexual, sexualised or illicit content, hateful, threatening, racist, provocative or vulgar content, and links to websites and discussions encouraging illegal activity. Please do not circumvent the censoring options we have set up.
- Conduct - Be courteous and respectful towards other members. Personal attacks, aggressive messages, and passive-aggressive behaviour is unacceptable. Do not insult, bully, undermine, stalk, flame, troll, bait or otherwise harass other members. If you take issue with another member and cannot reply in a civilised and constructive way to their posts, please ignore the user.
- On Topic - Posts should always be constructive and on topic. For common issues, telling someone to search is not acceptable. If you disagree with a post and need to say so, be respectful when explaining why and focus on post content and not the member who posted it. Off topic posts may be moved or deleted.
- Reporting - If you feel another user is attacking or being aggressive towards you, report their message or post to staff using the report link. Do not respond publicly. This continues the back and forth, derailing topics and can be uncomfortable for others. If someone attacks you and you respond with an attack, you will be warned regardless of who started it.
- Advertising / Spam / Affiliate Programs - We invest a lot in our community and take a very dim view of anyone using it primarily for self-promotion, marketing, free advertising, affiliate revenue generation, or solicitation of our membership. Spamming can result in your account being closed, content removed, and your details reported to anti-spam databases. If you are unsure whether your content will be viewed as spam by our team, please contact us before posting.
- Account - Your username should not be your real name and should not contain anything that would allow you to be personally identified (unless by agreement with the site owner). You are allowed one user account, which must not contain anything inappropriate in the username or custom title and must not include URLs, domain names or any form of advertisement. Usernames or custom user titles must not be used to impersonate, or attempt to impersonate, forum staff, user groups, or any entity to which you are not associated. We reserve the right to merge, change, close or remove accounts without discussion or notice.
- Leaving - On registering for a user account, you accept information you post publicly will remain in our database and on public record, even if you later decide to leave the site or close your account. If leaving, you may request the removal of personal information linked with your account and specific personal information that you or others may have posted. We will not delete your account or any associated messages.
- Avatars - Avatars should not be defamatory, obscene, abusive, unlawful or used for advertising or self-promotion. Unsuitable avatars will be removed without notice.
- Post formatting - Our default style and font colour gives a consistent look and feel to threads and posts making them easier to read. Please do not use excessive formatting changes in your posts for colours, fonts, sizes, styles and smilies. Additionally, please do not post thread titles in ALL CAPS (this is considered shouting). Moderators may adjust your posts where they feel the formatting is excessive or too out of line with the default style.
- Signatures - Signatures may contain two lines of text and two links and must not contain inappropriate or offensive content. No images are allowed, except our own smilies or a single approved ticker. Text should be no larger than the default forum post size and formatting should not overly emphasise your signature in comparison with the surrounding message text. Signatures are a privilege and can be revoked. The moderator team reserves the right to modify or remove signatures without notice.
- Language - As an English-speaking community we require content to be posted in the English language so that it can be easily understood and moderated. Short, common use non-English phrases such as, chapeau, bon appetit, ciao, auf wiedersehen, etc. are allowed because most people understand their meaning. Less-common phrases and larger blocks of text in non-English languages are not allowed as we have no way of knowing what they say without going to some effort to get them translated. If in doubt, ask before posting, and any decision by the moderator team to edit or remove non-English content will be final.
- Giving Advice - When giving advice, please focus on questions asked by the thread starter; do not get into protracted debates or circular arguments with other members. Check your advice suits your audience - beginners will benefit from easy to digest basic advice, whilst experienced members might prefer more complex replies. If you feel advice given by others is potentially dangerous, please report it for the moderator team to deal with.
- No Bumping - Threads should not be bumped, unless you have something to add to the discussion. Additionally, avoid replying to inactive discussions from several months ago or longer, unless you have something valuable to add.
- Derailing - Do not derail or hijack discussions. Discussing side issues or elements of a conversation in detail can be done by starting your own thread or sending a message via the personal conversation system.
- Personal Conversations - The personal conversation system allows you to communicate privately with others. The same rules of conduct apply. It is reasonable to expect privacy, but we cannot guarantee it; we therefore recommend you do not share anything via personal message that you would not want made public. Personal information and private discussions may not be posted on the forums, unless there is clear consent from all parties. Personal conversations from staff should be considered strictly confidential and sharing or publication of such messages may result in your account being closed.
- Real-time Chat - Real-time chat room conversations are a great way to get to know other community members, but be aware that the same rules of conduct apply as to the forums. Where a chat room is made available, all chat is recorded on a log and kept for 365 days so the moderator team can properly investigate any reports of misconduct.
- Classifieds - Our Classifieds forums are for members to trade with each other and are for personal sales only. Access to Classifieds requires a minimum 5 posts and is enabled 30 days after you register on the site. Please try to put a guide price on items you are offering for sale. We have no control over buyer or seller, do not get involved in transactions, and do not hold personal details for any forum members so please be careful with your transactions. We reserve the right to remove any listing at our discretion without notice.
- Links - Open exchange of information is a basic tenet of the web, so we allow natural links to other resources (including competitors) if the linked page is helpful to our members and directly related to the discussion. However, we also make a substantial investment in our community and understandably do not want our resources used for our competitor’s benefit, so we do not allow links to competing sites in member signatures, unnatural promotion of competing site links in our forums, and any links soliciting our members to leave our site and join a competing site or service.
- Moderator Directives - If a moderator or staff member makes a directive in a thread (for example to focus on the topic and not other people) you must adhere to these directives. If you discover a directive only after you’ve posted a message contravening it, please delete your post or it will be taken to be ignoring moderators.
- Moderator Decisions - If you have a problem with or question about a moderator’s decision, contact the moderator privately or submit a message through the contact system. Public posts or topics discussing moderator actions will be removed.
- Moderation Queue - The moderator team may queue-and-review, suspend or close the accounts of anyone who wilfully violates the forum rules, continually needs warning, monopolises moderator time, or who tries to damage the community or its reputation.
- Bans - A ban from our community means you are no longer welcome at our website. Re-registering will lead to a permanent ban of the new account.
- Cross-posting - Do not create the same thread in more than one forum (cross-posting). You should select the single most appropriate forum for your message and post it there. Duplicate threads and posts will be deleted.
- Tagging – tags are words and phrases that you can add to content to make it easier for other people to find. They are also used by search engines to help visitors find content on our site. Please try to make your tags useful, helpful and representative of the content being tagged and be aware that misuse of tagging can result in you being excluded from adding further tags.
- Usernames - We prefer usernames not to be changed as it can cause confusion for other members and staff. In exceptional circumstances we will allow a username change, but will generally ask that your avatar (if set) remain the same and your custom user title reflect the change with “Formerly known as “ and your prior username. Such changes will only be allowed once in any 12 month period and all username changes will be at the sole discretion of the site owner.
- Feedback - Feedback, suggestions and questions about the operation of the site are welcome but please send them directly to the site owner via a forum personal message or the site Contact Us link. Please do not post them in the forums as they will be removed.
The moderator team comprises of trusted forum members who volunteer their time to help manage the community and assist you with using the site. They also help to clean spam, remove inappropriate content and deal with disagreements and disruptive members. If you need help you can contact a staff member directly via the personal message system or use the site contact link.
If you see spam or anything else you feel is inappropriate for our community, please use the report link to tell the moderator team about it (the link is underneath each forum message).
If the moderator team feels your conduct or content is inappropriate they will send you a reminder. These personal messages are designed to help you self-moderate and will stay on your account for 12 months. They are between you and the moderator team and no one else sees them.
A couple of reminders should be enough to guide you in the right direction, however if you accrue five active reminders your account will be placed in moderation. Once in moderation your forum posts will be reviewed by the moderator team before appearing on the site (and may be edited or declined depending on content). Your account will remain in moderation until the team feels it is appropriate to reverse it.
Caveat: The moderator team reserves the right to remove your access to any and all areas of the site and to place your account into moderation whenever it is needed or in the best interests of the site or our membership.
We will try to keep all objectionable material off the site but it is impossible for us to review everything that is posted. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owner of this site nor Xenforo Limited (developers of the software) will be held responsible for the content. We also do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message.
You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use the site to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.
You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this site.
The community owner reserves the right to remove, edit, move, close or delete any content on the site or any user accounts without notification.
We reserve the right to reveal information we know about you in the event of any legal action arising from any content posted by you.
We also reserve the right to update and modify these guidelines as the needs of our community change.
Last updated: 20 February, 2016