What is your primary goal as a moderator? No matter what the medium or the theme, a good moderator wants his or her gathering place to be worth a return visit and committed interaction. Whether that can best be achieved by active participation in the conversation or by simply staying out of the way is a decision only the moderator can make. In most cases, shifting between active participation, and backing off to let the guests run with a conversation or provide support to one another, is the best ongoing strategy. It's not about you; the whole point is to find a way to help the participants share the spotlight. Remember that the people in the discussions are your guests, and a variety of personalities and opinions enriches the scene you are creating. Treat them with courtesy, make them feel welcome and by and large they will respond in kind towards you and one another. Everything you need to evaluate a message for acceptability should be self contained in the message itself and there is no need to infer meanings or determine truth. Whatever steps you are able to take on the Forums, remember to give clear warnings and to allow for honest mistakes. Be sparse but consistent in enforcing the guidelines of being respectful, obeying the law, honoring IP, not advertising, and staying relevant to chess.. Avoid like the plague situations in which a guideline applies to one person or group and not to another. And most of all, abide by the guidelines yourself.


Acceptable Use Guidelines

The guidelines presented below are meant to assist the USCF member community in the interpretation and administration of the Acceptable Use Guidelines. They outline and give possible examples on the responsibilities each member of the community accepts when using the Forums and the types of actions that the moderators may take to enforce the guidelines. Note the guidelines where applicable also apply to private messaging.


Be respectful of the community and its members

(material removed, warning)

·         Please keep all posts in English

·         Do not use personal attacks, speculation, innuendo, or disparaging comments about any individual. Do not make disparaging comments about companies. Do not flame or troll. Do not respond to flaming or trolling.

·         Do not use material that contains vulgar, violent, explicit, obscene or indecent language or images/sounds.

·         No stated intentions to take legal action against other persons or companies.

·         Don't post/forward viruses, hoaxes, and chain letters.

·         No all-caps (FOR EXAMPLE, LIKE THIS) or all-bolds please.

·         Do not use people’s names as thread topics or subject lines.

·         Do not get into prolonged arguments or debates – agree to disagree

(material removed, ban)

·         No intimidating or threatening messages. No cyberbullying.

·         Don't send or forward messages containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks.

·         Do not use material that is bigoted or offensive regarding a person’s sexual orientation, gender, race, color, age, religious views, national origin, medical condition, or disability. Also no ethnic slurs.

·         No impersonating others.

·         Do not post phone numbers, e-mail addresses or other personal information (PII) of others.


Obey the law (material removed, ban)

·         No material that advocates illegal activity or discusses illegal activities with the intent to commit them.

·         No material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, gives rise to civil liability, or otherwise violates any law.


Honor Intellectual Property (material removed, ban)

·         No use of commercially copyrighted material in violation of copyright law.

·         No software or other media piracy.

·         Any content on this bulletin board may not be used anywhere outside this board unless you are given permission.


No Advertising (material removed, warning)

·         Do not message any commercial advertisements or any form of commercial solicitation.

·         Do not use the bulletin board to advertise a particular product or service including eBay or other commercial site direct links.

·         Do not sign your posts with commercial web sites or company names. Put the link to your website in your profile.

·         Do not promote your company, products, services, or forums.

·         No Spam or Phishing of any kind. Do not reply to Spam or Phishing.

·         No solicitations of funds. However, solicitations of funds for worthy charitable causes may be permitted with advance approval by the Executive Director (ED).


Stay Relevant (material removed, warning)

·         Posts that are unrelated to Chess are discouraged.

·         Do not use material that does not pertain to the forum or bulletin board's given topic. Please keep your posts to the topic of the thread.

·         No unrelated topics such as religion or politics.

·         Do not post the same message more than once in a forum or in multiple forums.

·         Do not send unwanted private messages.

·         Start new topics for a new discussion.


Dealing with moderators

Moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time as well as to warn consistent with this AUG. Send a PM to a moderator if you have a question about a locked/edited posting.

(material removed, warning)

·         Do not post or start a thread complaining about moderation or FOC actions. A PM is OK.

(material removed, ban)

·         Do not publicly post correspondence you receive from moderators and do not share it with other members of this bulletin board.

·         Do not repost the same material, offensive post, and/or complain about the action, or restart an argument after it has been removed or locked.

What to do if you see an inappropriate message

If you see a post which appears to violate any of our guidelines, do not respond to it. Report the post to the moderators to alert them to the violation by using the Report Post button beside the offending message.


Moderator Actions

·         any moderator may request the editing of material in lieu of removal and warning

·         any moderator may remove material and issue a warning

·         any two moderators [other than the one who pulled it] may restore material

·         any two moderators can place a repeat offender into a moderation queue

·         any two moderators may choose up to a one week ban for any [set of] ban violation[s]

·         any three moderators may choose up to a one month ban based on the seriousness of any [set of] ban violation[s]

·         the ED can permanently ban a member from the bulletin board for any [set of] ban violation[s]


Selected Definitions


Personal is: of, pertaining to, or coming as from a particular person; and Attack is: to subject somebody to strong or vehement criticism or attempting to overthrow or bring into disrepute by criticism or ridicule. A personal attack occurs when one introduces personalized statements or images about an opponent. Such personal statements can include statements concerning ones character or personal qualities and circumstances; name-calling or insults; personally directed conclusory allegations/opinions; and personalized smears/ridicule. A personal attack need not be false but can be a fact, substantiated, or even an observation. A personal attack can use either true or false statements [including sounds or images] but it is still a personal attack. Making statements about a group to which someone belongs [like the EB] or about others' points of view, their record, their actions, their behavior, or their opinions is not a personal attack.


Name-Calling: verbal abuse, especially as a substitute for reasoned argument in a dispute. Abusive: expressing offensive reproach. Reproach: to find fault with; blame; censure.


A Conclusory Allegation consists of or relates to a conclusion or assertion of fact for which no supporting evidence is offered. Note an opinion is a personal view -- the view somebody takes about a certain issue, especially when it is based solely on personal judgment.


Smear: attack the good name and reputation [the opinion which people in general have about a person etc, a person's abilities etc] of someone. Defamation is written or spoken injury to a person or organization's reputation. Ridicule is to reduce or dismiss the importance or quality of somebody in a contemptuous way.


Disparage: To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; to belittle, ridicule, discredit, mock, demean, denounce, derogate, decry.


Commercial advertising in this context means the promotional presentation, other than by the USCF, of a name, logo and/or message with the intention or possible result of creating market awareness or sales of a product or service on a larger than private scale. It is not intended for this definition to apply to informational material or links whose purpose is not to sell products or services.


Legal action: A judicial proceeding brought by one party against another; one party prosecutes another for a perceived wrong done or for protection of a right or for prevention of a wrong. Members must not use the Forums or PMs for encouraging, promoting, endorsing, or inciting any kind of legal action against anyone. Such legal threats against individuals often severely inhibit open discussion and inquiry, without which, we risk one side of a dispute intimidating the other, thus stemming debate and respectful communications. However discussions of legal matters or simple suggestions to get legal advice should not be construed as threats.


Frequently Asked Questions