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, political, 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.
- Language - This is an English language site and as such, all posts should be in the English language. Short, commonly used non-English phrases that are in use the world over (such as bon appetit, ciao, auf wiedersehen, or au revoir) are fine because most people understand their meaning but anything more will be treated as spam and removed without warning. Posts entirely in any language except for English will be deleted and the contents reported as spam. Spamming can result in your account being closed, content removed, and your details reported to anti-spam databases. If in doubt, ask before posting. Any decision made by the moderator team to edit or remove non-English content will be final.
- Censoring - CookingBites uses a censoring system to remove commonly used profanity, sexual or sexualised words, racist, political, provocative or vulgar content. This is an automated system and it can occasionally go wrong. If you believe this to be the case, please do not be offended. It applies to all members, moderators and the site owner alike. Please simply contact us using the Report system to let us know. Please do not circumvent the censoring options we have set up. Images posted to by-pass this filtering will be removed without warning and your account placed in moderation, or closed entirely. Any decision made by the moderator team to edit or remove this content will be final.
- Reporting/Bullying - CookingBites does not tolerate bullying in any form anywhere on this forum, but we need to be made aware of it because it is not feasible for moderators to read each and every single post on the site. 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 both 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.
- Foodbloggers - Foodbloggers who become an established and valued member of our community will be permitted to advertise their foodblog via their signature and homepage link. Furthermore, we will permit, once you are an established member, links to your blog within appropriate threads, discussion of your blog and your photographs and other advertising of your blog. You will also be invited to write a profile thread about your foodblog. Foodbloggers who are here only to advertise their blog will find themselves subject to our advertising rules and their content regarded as spam and thier accounts closed.
- 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 only 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.
- Location - Cooking measurments, food names and ingredient names vary from country to country. In order not to cause confusion, your true location is mandatory. Members who fail to disclose their true location will find their account subject to change, moderation, or closure without notice. The moderator team reserves the right to add or modify your location without notice. Members who repeatedly modify their location to make it inaccurate, will find their accounts placed in moderation or closed entirely.
- 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 only anonymise your account on request to the site owner only. 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, or content, 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 or to correct grammatical errors. The moderator team reserves the right to modify grammar without notice. All moderator changes are final.
- 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. 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.
- Giving Advice - When giving advice, please focus on the 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. Please do not tell a member to 'just look it up' or similar. It is not nice and will be removed without notice. Repeat offenders will find themselves moderated with all posts having to be approved by a member of the moderator team before the post(s) become visible to all. If you feel advice given by others is potentially dangerous, please report it (using the report button) 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.
- Recipes - It is our site policy that recipes are uploaded in full in a new thread. There are no exceptions to this rule. Each recipe must be contained within a new thread and should be uploaded into the most suitable forum. It should have a suitable title and the prefix "Recipe" or "Recipe & Video". Full ingredients and method are also mandatory. A standard format is expected: an optional introduction, a full list of ingredients with quantities and a full written method. Photographs are optional but are appreciated by all. These photographs should be your own and if showing a step in the method, should be posted where they apply. Videos should be added below the method. Please note that we do not offer video hosting (only photographs/images can be hosted on the site server) and please remember that not all members have access to super fast broadband hence requirement for full ingredients and full written method. Guidelines are that your recipe should be complete without the need to watch a video. All recipes should be cited correctly and full credit given to the original creator (where it can be established) even if your recipe has only been inspired by them. Further guidelines can be found under the Help link. Recipes not meeting these minimum requirements will be removed without notice.
- Copyright - CookingBites takes a firm stance on copyright even though it can be difficult to work out what applies in which country. Recipe and photographic copyright should always been followed and credited accordingly. If you fail to acknowledge the author (or the letter of the law taking into account the stricter of both countries' copyright laws (the country you are posting from and the UK where the CookingBites server is hosted)), we will remove your recipe without notice. Recipe (photographic or videographic) citation is important and we will enforce it. Further guidelines can be found under the Help link.
- 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. Links are also considered a privledge and as such need to be approved by a member of the moderator team for all new members.
- 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 or site owner privately or submit a message through the contact system. Public posts or topics discussing moderator actions will be removed without notice and accounts placed in moderation or closed entirely.
- 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. However, we do permit 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.
- Warning System - CookingBites uses the warning system to track member who continually ignore site rules, policies and moderator notices etc. Warning points can and will be issued and if a member continues to ignore site T&C's, their account can be temporarily or permanently banned from the individual threads or the site.
- 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 continually ignore 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: 31 January 2021